Date of Award

Fall 2023

Access Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Human Factors


Human Factors and Behavioral Neurobiology

Committee Chair

Elizabeth Blickensderfer

First Committee Member

Barbara Chaparro

Second Committee Member

Joseph Keebler

Third Committee Member

Robert Thomas

College Dean

Peter Hoffmann


Situational judgment tests (SJTs) are scenario-based assessments that evaluate an individual's capacity to make key judgments relating to specific contexts. While SJTs are traditionally used for personal selection (e.g., managers, customer service personnel, and police officers), SJTs also demonstrate potential for use in training evaluation. One area of interest in aviation is aeronautical decision-making (ADM) during inflight encounters with aviation illusions. However, a gap in research exists regarding how to measure pilots’ capacity to make judgments about illusions during flight.

This dissertation aimed to develop and validate an SJT that evaluates aeronautical decision-making (ADM) during inflight encounters with aviation illusions. The SJT developed from this dissertation, referred to as the Aviation-Illusion Situational Judgment Test (AI-SJT), tasked respondents with evaluating eight flight scenarios. The construction of each scenario centers around a specific illusion: Leans, Coriolis Illusion, Inversion Illusion, Elevator Illusion, False Horizon, Autokinesis, Runway Illusion, or the Black Hole Illusion.

The AI-SJT was evaluated through factor analysis and structural equation modeling. Through these evaluations the AI-SJT was shown to be a reliable measure with indication of construct validity. Ultimately the AI-SJT resulted in an eight-item measure that assesses a pilot’s ability to identify ineffective responses to potential illusion encounters.