An Ecological Perspective on Team Cognition
COGNITIVE ENGINEERING RESEARCH INST MESA AZ
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Technology has complicated the role of the human in most complex systems. Manual or motor tasks carried out by a single individual have been supplanted by multiple-person tasks that are highly cognitive in nature. Assembly lines have been replaced by teams of designers, troubleshooters, and process controllers. Teams plan, decide, remember, make decisions, design, trouble shoot, solve problems, and generally think as an integrated unit. These activities are examples of team cognition, a construct that has arisen with the growing need to understand, explain, and predict these cognitive activities of teams. But does team cognition mean that teams think or is it that the individuals within the teams think, relegating team cognition to a collection of individual thinkers Questions like these are important prerequisites to understanding team cognition.