The capability of a multifunction display system to present data regarding malfunctioning manned spacecraft systems is illustrated. The development of formats for abnormal operations is based on the correspondence between cognitive requirements of the crewmember and displayed information. Three different stages of cognitive processing are identified and associated spacecraft formats are developed. System architecture provides for the display of required information tailored to crewmember requirements in identifying, understanding, and solving malfunctions via a simple multifunction display interface.Two sets of formats were produced which illustrate traditional display strategies and cognitive representations. Formats were presented to subjects using a slide projector and data were collected to identify any significant differences between the two methods of information display. Results indicated no statistically significant differences in performance which were attributed to use straightforward failure modes and effects. Cognitive representations are expected to be associated with superior performance for complex malfunctions.