Walker, Guy H., Stanton, Neville A., Salmon, Paul M., Jenkins, Daniel P., Rafferty, Laura and Ladva, Darshna
Same or different? Generalising from novices to experts in military command and control studies
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 40, (5), . (doi:10.1016/j.ergon.2010.04.003).
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A significant amount of empirical work in the field of military command and control uses participants drawn from non-military backgrounds. This study aims to provide a simple check on the assumption that the results gained from novice populations are transferable to real-life contexts. Two groups of 10 participants undertook an experimental command and control task. The first group was selected from a cohort of undergraduates with no task related experience and no domain knowledge (i.e. complete novices). The second group were military personnel who all possessed domain knowledge (i.e. experts) with some also possessing high levels of task related experience (i.e. ‘super experts’). Comparisons between these three levels of expertise shows that military personnel are considerably more accurate than undergraduates, however, whilst there are ‘absolute’ differences in situational awareness and workload, there are still similarities in the ‘pattern’ of results gained regardless of expertise.
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