Cognitive Pretraining: An Aid in the Transition from Instrument to Composite Flying.
ARIZONA STATE UNIV TEMPE DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
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This study was designed to investigate the role of cognitive pretraining relative to the early difficulties encountered by student pilots transitioning from ground-based instrument training to composite flying training. The cognitive pretraining consisted of a an instrument reading review, b a vocabulary of relevant cockpit features, c the use of brief perceptual rules for pitch and bank attitudes, and d prototype representations of a variety of pitch and bank attitudes. Three groups of 12 pilots each participated in the study student experimental, student control and experienced instructor pilots IP. The experimental group was exposed to cognitive pretraining and then compared to the student control and IP groups in a simulated composite flight laboratory task. Results of the laboratory task demonstrated superior discrimination performance of the student experimental group over both the student control and experienced pilot groups for the most difficult discrimination. As the discrimination difficulty decreased, the performance of the experimental and experienced pilot groups were equal and both were superior to the student control group. As a measure of the external validity of the laboratory task, both student groups were subjected to four discrete maneuvers in the Williams Air Force Base Human Resources Laboratory, Flying Training Division AFHRLFT Advanced Simulator for Pilot Training ASPT. Results of the ASPT task support the findings of the laboratory task. The laboratory and simulator results were discussed in the context of directed attention and schema theory. Author
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