Cue generation among firefighters: competent vs. expert differences

Nathan C. Perry, Mark W. Wiggins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Empirical investigations of cognitive skill acquisition have generally focused on differences between novice and expert operators. The result is a neglect of the intermediate stage of skill acquisition in which operators progress through competence towards expert performance. This study investigated the qualitative and quantitative differences in the cognitive cues generated by competent and expert firefighters. Participants first read a written, firefighting-related decision scenario before listing the cues that they considered relevant in formulating a decision. The results revealed that experts generated significantly more cues than competent operators. Further, the types of cues generated by competent and expert operators differed, with experts reporting significantly more safety-related cues than competent operators. These outcomes suggest that differences exist between the cues that are employed by expert and competent operators during decision-making, and that these differences reflect a qualitative change in information processing that occurs during the transition from competence to expertise.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 52nd Annual Meeting
Place of PublicationThousand Oaks, CA
PublisherSAGE/Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9780945289326, 9781605606859
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventHuman Factors and Ergonomics Society Meeting (52nd : 2008) - New York
Duration: 22 Sept 200826 Sept 2008

Publication series

NameHuman Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting Proceedings
PublisherHuman Factors and Ergonomics Society
ISSN (Print)1071-1813


ConferenceHuman Factors and Ergonomics Society Meeting (52nd : 2008)
CityNew York


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