Evaluation of Cognitive Skill Degradation in Flight Planning

This work aimed to identify cognitive skills associated with flight planning, suggest which skills might be susceptible to skill degradation, and investigate the effects of cognitive skill degradation over time. Information automation systems offload cognitive tasks to reduce workload and error. However, the same phenomena seen with physical skill degradation in highly automated aircrafts may also occur when automating cognitive tasks. Two studies were conducted. An applied cognitive task analysis identified cognitive skills in flight planning. An empirical evaluation examined whether some of those skills were susceptible to cognitive skill degradation over time when using automation. Participants were placed into three groups. After conducting a flight planning task manually, groups differed in the next three practice trials: manual, alternating between manual and automation, or only with automation. Finally, all groups conducted the task manually again. Trials were separated by 2 weeks. The automation group showed the most performance degradation and highest workload, while the manual group showed the least performance degradation and least workload. Automation use did not provide the practice needed to mitigate cognitive skill degradation. Analysis of the impacts of information automation on cognitive performance is a first step in understanding the root causes of errors and developing mitigations.


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  • Accession Number: 01761848
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 11 2020 3:06PM