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date: 19 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

People form an ongoing and integrated mental picture of the relevant information in the environment as a basis for decision making in a wide variety of operational situations. This situation awareness forms a central organizing construct in complex and dynamic worlds that the cognitive engineering field seeks to understand, support, and measure. This chapter presents an overview of situation awareness, including its definition and a theoretical model describing the cognitive mechanisms and processes that underlie the development of effective situation awareness across both experts and novices. Key challenges for situation awareness that are found in a wide variety of domains are also presented. This theoretical foundation forms the basis for creating system designs, training approaches, and metrics of SA (presented in Chapter 4 (Section III) on SA Oriented Design).

Keywords: situation awareness, decision making, decision model, expertise, mental models

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