Author

Ziyi Dong

Date of Award

4-2018

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautics

Department

Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Andrew R. Dattel, Ph.D.

First Committee Member

Margaret F. Klemm, Ph.D.

Abstract

In aviation, situation awareness (SA) is a fundamental requirement for effective flying and air traffic control. This skill has greatly been associated with pilot and air traffic controller performance. Previous studies in aviation and other fields have shown that gender differences exist in SA performance. Four hypotheses were tested in this study: women navigate better from landmark cues; men navigate better from headings cues; women have better SA performance than men when receiving landmark directions; and men have better SA when receiving cardinal directions. Thirty-eight participants drove a driving simulator twice. While driving, participants were asked SA questions to assess their SA performances. The results showed participants navigate better from landmark cues regardless of gender. Men showed poorer SA in landmark conditions than in headings conditions, but there was no significant difference in women. However, overall, women performed worse in response time to answering SA questions. This study can be beneficial for pilots’ selection tests and providing special training for male and female pilots.

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