A Qualitative Study Defining Aviation ‘Skills’ to Ensure Effective, Safe, & Efficient Evaluations
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The present qualitative case study strives to define the term skill within aviation, drawing from the cognitive psychology, organizational psychology, and training literature as well as input from subject matter experts in the aviation industry. A review of the published literature revealed no consensus for how to define what constitutes a skill. While some definitions follow a task-based approach, others emphasize more cognitively based representations. Moreover, a formal commonly accepted definition of the term skill within the aviation domain is lacking. The researchers employed a qualitative case study methodology to extract true descriptions from the subject matter experts to bound and expand from the current literature while rooting the findings within the situation awareness theoretical model. Findings from this study indicate the term skill encompasses multiple high order thinking processes. While these processes can be defined slightly differently depending on the field in which one applies the term skill, they are still rooted in three common themes: goal-oriented, efficiency, and high proficiency.