Implications of Decision Making Research for Decision Support and Displays
Morrison, Jeffrey G.
Kelly, Richard T.
Moore, Ronald A.
Hutchins, Susan G.
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A prototype decision support system (DSS) was developed to enhance Navy tactical decision making based on naturalistic decision processes. Displays were developed to support critical decision making tasks through recognition-primed and explanation-based reasoning processes, and cognitive analysis was conducted of the decision making problems faced by Navy tactical officers in a shipboard Combat Information Center. Baseline testing in simulations of high intensity, peace keeping, littoral missions indicated that experienced decision makers were not well served by current systems, and their performance revealed periodic loss of situation awareness. A study is described with eight expert Navy tactical decision making teams who used either their current system alone or in conjunction with the prototype DSS. When the teams had the prototype DSS available, we observed significantly fewer communications to clarify the tactical situation, significantly more critical contacts identified early in the scenario, and a significantly greater number of defensive actions taken against imminent threats. These findings suggest that the prototype DSS enhanced the commanders’ awareness of the tactical situation, which in turn contributed to greater confidence, lower workload, and more effective performance. Significant work remains to be done in learning how to optimally design and train users of such systems.
To appear in J. A. Cannon-Bowers & E. Salas (Eds.), Decision Making Under Stress: Implications for Training and Simulation.
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