Back to SA school: contrasting three approaches to situation awareness in the cockpit
Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science
Situational awareness has received considerable attention in recent years and significant theoretical advances have been made. The advances to date can be categorised in three main schools of thought: psychological, engineering and systems ergonomics schools. We use the perspectives of the three schools to analyse the descent and approach of a McDonnell Douglas MD-80 series described by Hutchins (1995a) . We discuss the theoretical contributions of the three schools to the understanding of SA
... derstanding of SA and apply these to the analysis of the MD-80"s descent and approach. Finally, we discuss how the different views advocated by the three schools give rise to different approaches to support SA. We argue that while the psychological and engineering approaches each give valuable insight into the phenomenon neither give a complete explanation of SA. We therefore dispute that only the systems ergonomics perspective, in combining the individual, artefacts in the environment and interaction between these, offer a full explanation.