Communication indices of crew coordination

Aviat Space Environ Med. 1989 Jan;60(1):56-60.


The relationship between communication patterns and performance in 10 two-person flightcrews is explored with the aim of identifying speech variations which differentiate low- and high-error full mission simulator flights. Verbal data, transcribed from the videotaped performances, are treated as interactive sequences of speech events in which statements spoken by one crewmember are considered within the context of the other crewmember's prior and subsequent speech. Specific speech patterns characterized each crew, but the overriding findings included: a) marked homogeneity of patterns characterizing low-error crews, interpreted as the adoption of a standard form of communicating, and b) heterogeneity of patterns characterizing high-error crews, interpreted as the relative absence of a conventionalized form. Because conventions are regularities which confirm the expectations of those involved, predictability of crewmember behavior should be greater when standard conventions are followed. We conclude that such a practice can facilitate the coordination process and enhance crew performance.

MeSH terms

  • Aerospace Medicine*
  • Communication*
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Humans