Graduation Year

2016

Degree

M.A.

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Stephen E. Stark, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Walter C. Borman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Winny Shen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Marina A. Bornovalova, Ph.D.

Keywords

cognitive ability, job experience, personality, situation awareness, tenure, workplace safety

Abstract

In aviation safety incident reports, lack of situation awareness (SA) is often attributed as the cause of negative safety outcomes, such as accidents. While the predominant model of SA has identified three components of SA, perception, comprehension, and projection, assumptions of their relationships with each other and external criteria are yet tested empirically. Specifically, SA theory suggests comprehension SA fully mediates the relationship between perception and projection SA. Additionally, research on the relationships between individual differences and SA is lacking. The purpose of the current study is to test a comprehensive model of SA which simultaneously examines the described mediation, relationships with individual differences antecedents of SA, and its utility as a predictor of safety using structural equation modeling (SEM). A sample of 349 employees from a diverse background of occupational areas were recruited via Amazon Mechanical Turk to test the model. While self-report measurement of SA was an excellent predictor of safety, the current study did not find empirical support for the presumed mediation among the SA components, and found the relationships between individual differences and SA which contradict extant SA theory. The results suggest differentiating between typical versus maximal SA. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

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