Cognitive simulation as a tool for cognitive task analysis

Ergonomics. 1992 Oct;35(10):1163-98. doi: 10.1080/00140139208967389.


Cognitive simulations are runnable computer programs that represent models of human cognitive activities. We show how one cognitive simulation built as a model of some of the cognitive processes involved in dynamic fault management can be used in conjunction with small-scale empirical data on human performance to uncover the cognitive demands of a task, to identify where intention errors are likely to occur, and to point to improvements in the person-machine system. The simulation, called Cognitive Environment Simulation or CES, has been exercised on several nuclear power plant accident scenarios. Here we report one case to illustrate how a cognitive simulation tool such as CES can be used to clarify the cognitive demands of a problem-solving situation as part of a cognitive task analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cognition*
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Humans
  • Problem Solving
  • Software Design
  • Task Performance and Analysis*
  • User-Computer Interface*