Situation awareness as judgment I: Statistical modeling and quantitative measurement

Alex Kirlik, Richard Strauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Situation awareness (SA) is a commonly used term to describe the challenges faced by human operators when interacting with controlled systems or work environments through technological interfaces. In this paper we conceptualize SA as judgment under uncertainty. As such, SA is conceived as the degree of correspondence between a set of human judgments and the distribution of true system or environmental states or events being judged. Statistical modeling and estimation techniques known as judgment analysis are used to decompose SA into seven individually measurable components for engineering analysis and design. We discuss how the model and measures complement existing qualitative models of SA (e.g., Endsley), human-automation interaction (e.g., Parasuraman, Sheridan & Wickens) and naturalistic decision making (NDM) (e.g., Klein). A companion article presents a demonstration of the judgment analysis approach to SA modeling and measurement. Relevance to Industry: Good situation awareness implies a high correlation between actual and judged system states. This paper provides a technique for decomposing this correlation into seven independent factors so that technology and training interventions target the specific barriers to situation awareness in any particular context or system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-474
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Judgment
  • Operator modeling
  • Performance measurement
  • Situation awareness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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