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Decision Making

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Article Information
Category: Human Behaviour Human Behaviour
Content source: SKYbrary About SKYbrary
Content control: SKYbrary About SKYbrary


In aviation, decision making is the cognitive process of selecting a course of action from multiple alternatives.


Decision-making generally has four components:

  • Defining the problem
  • Considering the options
  • Selecting and implementing an option
  • Reviewing the outcome.

Decision making is influenced by:

  • Situational Awareness - a combination of availability of information and the ability of the decision maker to interpret the information (skills and professional knowledge)
  • Experience - familiarity with similar, perhaps routine, situations.
  • Social - social pressure, national and institutional culture.
  • Situational limitations - Physiological & psychological pressures (stress, fatigue, hypoxia etc), time pressure

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Further Reading

Flight Safety Foundation