Skills, Displays and Decision Support
I have two concerns in this paper. The first is to raise the point that some decision support displays might have a syntax of their own which obscures the very data they are supposed to enhance, just as a misleading analogy may lead one to overlook an important aspect of a problem- In other words, enhanced displays may sometimes sow the seeds of their own destruction. The second concern is to suggest that supposed expertise is sometimes heavily dependent upon certain display formats- We may be in danger of making overly general claims for the depth of operators’ knowledge, when the truth lies ultimately at a far simpler, more perceptual level. The answers may lie in a detailed examination of the problem itself and its context, making an ‘ecological’ approach to decision support necessary (Gibson, 1969; Neisser, 1976).
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