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Safety 2017, 3(3), 20;

Models of Automation Surprise: Results of a Field Survey in Aviation

Aviation Academy, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, 1097 DZ Amsterdam, the Netherlands
School of Humanities, Griffith University, Nathan, 4111 Queensland, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 9 September 2017 / Published: 11 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aviation Safety)
PDF [1764 KB, uploaded 12 September 2017]


Automation surprises in aviation continue to be a significant safety concern and the community’s search for effective strategies to mitigate them are ongoing. The literature has offered two fundamentally divergent directions, based on different ideas about the nature of cognition and collaboration with automation. In this paper, we report the results of a field study that empirically compared and contrasted two models of automation surprises: a normative individual-cognition model and a sensemaking model based on distributed cognition. Our data prove a good fit for the sense-making model. This finding is relevant for aviation safety, since our understanding of the cognitive processes that govern human interaction with automation drive what we need to do to reduce the frequency of automation-induced events. View Full-Text
Keywords: aviation automation; automation surprise; cognition; complacency; bias aviation automation; automation surprise; cognition; complacency; bias

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De Boer, R.; Dekker, S. Models of Automation Surprise: Results of a Field Survey in Aviation. Safety 2017, 3, 20.

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