1992-07-01

Identification of Hazardous Awareness States in Monitoring Environments 921136

An analysis of incidents in the Aviation Safety Reporting System database reveals that civil transport flight crew members often relate their mistakes to experiencing certain states of awareness such as absorption and preoccupation. As automated systems become more capable and comprehensive, there is the danger that crew members will spend more time performing a passive monitoring function. Hazardous states of awareness occur most often under just such conditions. Research to identify objective markers of hazardous states involves the laboratory induction of awareness states during a monitoring task and the determination of psychophysiological indices of the states experienced. This state identification procedure represents a technology for objectively indexing awareness state experiences within individuals to be used to subsequently identify these states when they occur in these same individuals under operational conditions. Promising results have been obtained that demonstrate the application of the state identification procedure. A model is being developed for predicting aerospace crew/system combinations that interact to produce hazardous states. The model specifies individual (e.g., psychophysiological predispositions) and situational (e.g., task design) factors that influence the likelihood that persons in operational settings will experience hazardous states of awareness. This paper describes the state identification procedure and the model, which together provide a capability for evaluating the design of advanced flight deck automation concepts based on the pilot's ability to maintain effective states of awareness.

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