The purpose of this study was to assess concepts from Information Science to develop and initially validate a framework to study the information behavior of flight crews in the civil aviation domain. Distributed use of information within groups remains a weak link between actual information, the meaning given to information, and the sense made of the information. Principles from information science, psychology, and communication studies are used to analyze how flight crews in a simulated environment (fail to) make use of essential, safety critical information through analysis of the corresponding flight transcripts using a six-point Information Behavior Grid. The results of this research indicate differences in the way flight crews identify, gather and use information based on their performance level. This study discerns that high performing flight crews practice different information behaviors than low performing or accident involved flight crews. This work serves as a way to operationalize crew resource management through understanding the social practice of information structuring within the distributed collective practice of the flight crew. This work also serves as a tool to inform crew training and is applicable to other domains where work is supported through distributed collective practice.
von Thaden, T. L.
(2005). Distributed Information Behavior Among Flight Crews in a Simulated Environment. 2005 International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 795-800.