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date: 18 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The purpose of this chapter is to provide a brief understanding of macrocognition, some of its theoretical and methodological underpinnings, and three examples of macrocognitive models: the recognition-primed decision model, the data–frame model of sensemaking, and the flexecution model of replanning and adaptation. These models are presented to provide the reader with a sense of the character of macrocognitive models, their purpose, and the current evidence which underpins each model. Macrocognitive models are models of experienced, often expert performers, and have been developed primarily from the study of decision making and cognitive work in naturalistic settings, as opposed to well-controlled laboratory experiments. They describe how people manage uncertainty and complexity in the world of work. The limitations and applications of these models are also illustrated in order to provide a future-oriented perspective on how the models might be improved and how they might be applied to support more effective cognitive work and more resilient work systems.

Keywords: macrocognition, cognitive work, models, sensemaking, decision making, adaptation, complexity, flexecution

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