Belling, Patrick K., Suss, Joel and Ward, Paul (2014) Cognitive Processes Supporting Recognition in Complex and Dynamic Tasks. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 58 (1). pp. 290-294. ISSN 1541-9312

Previous research has shown that anticipation is one of the best determinants of skill in numerous complex and dynamic domains, such as law enforcement, driving, aviation, surgery, and sport (for a review see Ward, Williams, & Hancock, 2006). Likewise, recognition ability has formed the cornerstone of much of the naturalistic decision making literature for the last 3 decades (e.g., Klein, Calderwood, & Clinton-Cirocco, 1986). In this research, we examined whether skill at anticipating the outcome of a dynamic situation would predict recognition skill, over and above domain-general measures of cognitive ability. We expected that domain-general cognition would account for some of the variance in recognition skill, but that anticipation skill would explain additional, unique variance. Counter to our expectations, anticipation skill did not explain significant unique variance. Instead, only one of the domain-general cognitive measures—spatial ability—was predictive of recognition skill, suggesting that training for improvement in recognition skill should be skill-specific.

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