Event based assessment of cognitive skills in a simulated environment

Jemma M. Harris, Mark W. Wiggins, Matthew Thomas, Scott Taylor

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


    The present study sought to determine whether the application of higher or lower-order cognitive skills was associated with differences in the behaviour of pilots during simulated flight sequences. Lower-order cognitive skills include monitoring and situation assessment, while higher-order cognitive skills involve decision-making and problem-solving. Flight sequences that triggered the application of higher or lower-order cognitive skills were developed on the basis of the cognitive complexity that was presumed to be associated with the management of task. Forty-one qualified general aviation pilots engaged in a series of counterbalanced events in a simulated aviation environment. The results indicated that, compared to lower-order events (monitoring), the two higher-order events (decision-making) evoked a higher level of perceived cognitive complexity, a larger range of eye movement, a higher proportion of shorter fixation durations (<150 m/s), and a lower proportion of longer fixation durations (> 600 m/s). Outcomes of the present study are discussed in terms of implications for assessment and training.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSimTecT 2008 conference proceedings
    Subtitle of host publication12-15 May 2008, Melbourne Convention Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    Place of PublicationLindfield, N.S.W.
    PublisherSimulation Industry Association of Australia
    Number of pages5
    ISBN (Print)0977525740
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    EventSimTecT (13th : 2008) - Melbourne
    Duration: 12 May 200815 May 2008


    ConferenceSimTecT (13th : 2008)


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