Designing for naturalistic decision-making

Hare, Chrisminder (2017) Designing for naturalistic decision-making. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Emergencies are safety critical situations where decision-makers make rapid and quick decisions. It is essential that decision-makers maintain a high level of performance whilst resolving the incident. Knowledge of human factors influences on decision-maker performance is critical to understand when designing technologies to support naturalistic decision-making.

Previous work has largely focused on the influence of a single human factor on naturalistic decision-making. However in naturalistic decision-making environments, such as resolving an emergency, often requires the interaction of multiple human factors with a resulting cumulative impact on the decision-making process outcome. This thesis presents a set of studies that investigates multiple, co-occurring human factors influences for naturalistic decision-making and investigates integration of the factors in the design of technologies to support effective outcomes in emergency situations. Findings contribute further understanding of the multi-factor influences on naturalistic decision-making, and provide a novel and practical set of design principles to support the design of naturalistic decision-making technologies.

A literature review confirmed that a majority of research presents single factor influences on decision-making, which is out of step for real-world naturalistic decision-making. In addition, findings showed that multiple factor influences co-occur in naturalistic decision-making environments, and are associated with decision-making performance. Seven factors were identified; situation awareness, mental models, workload, human error, uncertainty, teamwork and communication. Two studies using real-world decision-makers from the aviation domain and _re and rescue domain, investigated the multi-factor issues and the association with decision-making performance, through a set of real-world incident case studies. Results demonstrate the occurrence of the seven factors, and the cumulative impact on decision-making performance.

In collaboration with Airbus Defence and Space an experimental study with pilots contributed the design of a novel single pilot operated aircraft interface built using the understanding of the seven human factors. The interface was implemented in a flight simulator, where fourteen pilots performed three emergency related tasks. Results showed that the design had similar performance to that of a system based on the current design methodology, in spite of the fact the pilots had little experience with the system. Based on all findings, twenty-two cognition informed system design principles were created, with an aim to provide naturalistic decision-making system designers with a guide of how to integrate the seven factors into the design of systems to support effective decision-making. A final validation study, with human factors experts as participants, was carried out which identified the usability, validity and applicability of the design principles.

The thesis contributes findings that have both theoretical and practical implications.

This research has addressed gaps within the naturalistic decision-making literature and contributed new understanding to the complex field of naturalistic decision-making for emergency situations. Findings suggest that seven factors influence naturalistic decision-making, thus potentially affecting the decision-maker's performance. In addition, this research contributes an understanding of the guidance that is required by designers to create technology. Technology created using this methodology allows decision-makers to improve decision-making performance by supporting their complex decisions, thereby maintaining and improving safety in naturalistic decision-making domains.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Sharples, Sarah C.
Houghton, Robert
Keywords: Naturalistic decision-making, Cognition Informed System Design, Design Principles, Human Factors, Aviation, Fire and Rescue Service, Situation awareness, Mental Models, Teamwork, Communication, Workload, Human Error and Uncertainty, Cognitive Work Analysis, Design Centered Design, Critical Decision Method, Ethnography, Single Pilot Operations
Subjects: T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering
Item ID: 43590
Depositing User: Hare, Chrisminder
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2017 04:41
Last Modified: 08 May 2020 08:33

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