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Encyclopedia of Psychology Alan E. Kazdin, PhD, Editor-in-Chief

AVIATION PSYCHOLOGY

Finally, two important and related cognitive constructs, mental workload and situation awareness have emerged from the study of aviation psychology. Mental workload defines the demands imposed by the multiple and often heterogeneous tasks confronting the pilot. The study of mental workload helps predict its sources, and the consequences to cockpit task management when that workload is excessive (e.g., which tasks are postponed or poorly performed and which ones are protected from degradation). Situation awareness refers to the pilot’s current understanding and future projection of the evolving, changing characteristics of the airspace, the aircraft systems, and the tasks that must be performed. Situation awareness is often lost when workload is high, and may be supported by effective displays and by training of attention control skills (Endsley, 1999).


Tags: encyclopedia of psychology
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