The effect of expertise on Air Traffic controller's situation awareness

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ChangSun Song
YongSik Yoon
YoungWoo Sohn


This research examined air traffic controller performance on situation awareness (SA) tasks for routine and non-routine situations. Additionally, the difference of working memory capacity between novices and experts was analyzed. To assess SA performance, participants were asked to answer the query after the simulation was frozen. We employed 2*2*2 mixed factorial design including the between-subjects variable of air traffic controller expertise (novices, experts) and the within-subjects variables of the normality of situation (routine, non-routine), and the distracter task (yes, no) and then assessed the capacity of working memory. The results suggest that experts' performance significantly remained higher than novices for non-routine situations. When the distracter task was given, experts' SA accuracy was significantly higher than novices for both routine and non-routine situations. However, there is no difference in working memory capacity between experts and novices. These findings suggest that the performance on SA task was affected by the expertise of the professional development and training.


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Empirical Articles
Author Biographies

ChangSun Song , Yonsei University

Graduate Program of Cognitive Science

YongSik Yoon , Yonsei University

Center for Cognitive Science

YoungWoo Sohn, Yonsei University

Department of Psychology


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