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Understanding the determinants of problem-solving behavior in a complex environment  (1994)
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It is often argued that problem-solving behavior in a complex environment is determined as much by the features of the environment as by the goals of the problem solver. This work explores a technique used to determine the extent to which measured features of a complex environment influence problem-solving behavior observed in that same environment. The technique is used to determine how a complex flight deck and air traffic control environment influences the strategies used by airline pilots when controlling the flight path of a modern jetliner. Data collected aboard sixteen commercial flights are used to measure selected features of the task environment. A record of pilotsí problem-solving behavior is analyzed to determine to what extent behavior is adapted to the environmental features that were measured. The results suggest that the measured features of the environment account for as much as half of the variability in pilots' problem-solving behavior, and provide estimates on the likely effects of each environmental feature.
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complex environments, problem-solving behavior
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Human Factors 36 (4), 580-596
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Last Updated: August 15, 2019