טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentDar Ori
SubjectAware and Confident: Relations between Situation
Awareness, Metacognition, Team communication, and
Teamwork
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor Professor Avi Parush
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

Teamwork, communication, sharing knowledge (in the form of situation awareness), and metacognitive abilities regarding that shared knowledge are key elements in achieving good team performance. The current study aimed at measuring these constructs and the relations between them, while specifically focusing on situation awareness and metacognitive abilities, to acquire better understanding of their nature.

Situation awareness (SA) is the ability to correctly perceive and comprehend information in the environment, and to project that information onto future actions. this construct has been investigated extensively in relation to its effect on performance in high demanding and complex tasks. Metacognition is the ability to ponder about our own knowledge and cognition. By monitoring our ongoing performance and learning processes, we can control over our subsequent actions. The two main monitoring processes of calibration and resolution were examined regarding their effect on situation awareness. Calibration refers to absolute accuracy; the difference score between subjective confidence ratings and objective success scores (i.e. situation awareness scores), while resolution refers to relative accuracy and assesses the ability to correctly differentiate between what we know and not know. While both metacognition and situation awareness deal with how interpreting knowledge can improve performance, studies that attempted to combine these two constructs are scarce.

Two experiments were conducted in which participants performed different
urban firefighting tasks on a computer-based simulator. Study 1 compared between teamwork conditions (dyads vs. single-player), while study 2 compared between teams with the ability to communicate or without. We tested how different conditions affected the participants' metacognitive abilities, their ability to acquire situation awareness, their performance, and the relations between these factors.

Study 1 showed that team participants had better performance and better resolution, but lower situation awareness compared with single-player participants. Study 2 showed that the presence of communication facilitated higher situation awareness, better performance, and more accurate calibration, compared to the absence of communication. Moreover, we found that metacognitive abilities positively predicted situation awareness, and that high situation awareness predicted better performance.

One of the main explanations to our results deals with depth of processing, that is manifested through better monitoring abilities and facilitates performance. These findings are important on both the theoretical and practical levels, since they add new insights to the research of situation awareness and the cognitive processes that underline it, and offer new understandings as to the emphases needed in situation awareness training and maintenance.