Date of Award

Spring 2002

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Factors & Systems


Human Factors and Systems

Committee Chair

Christina Frederick-Recasino, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dennis Vincenzi, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nancy Parker, Ph.D.


This study investigated the relationship between gender and competence as perceived by pilots. Scenarios were utilized that depicted an airline captain successfully landing an airplane amidst adverse conditions. Scenarios varied only by the gender of the Captain: male, female, or unspecified by variance of pilot name. Perceived effectiveness, competence, avoidance, blame, and attribution as depicted by the Captain's performance in the scenario were assessed by 30 male and 30 female certified flight instructors. Results showed that female flight instructors' ratings of avoidance ability and attribution for success differed from male flight instructors. Attribution for blame differences between scenario conditions was also found. No significant gender or scenario differences occurred for ratings of effectiveness or competence.