Critical Thinking

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I n t r o d u c t i o n

I n t r o d u c t i o n

This self-study guide provides advice on how to improve your thinking and

This self-study guide provides advice on how to improve your thinking and introduces theintroduces the

associated aspects of sit

associated aspects of situation awareness and decision making. These activities areuation awareness and decision making. These activities are

essential processes in threat and error management, which must be used in daily

essential processes in threat and error management, which must be used in daily

operations. Thinking is the core skill in these activities; critical thinking involves

operations. Thinking is the core skill in these activities; critical thinking involves

controlling y

controlling your thinking:- our thinking:- thinking about thinking about the quality of the quality of your thinking.your thinking.

The guide is in five sections:

The guide is in five sections:

1.

1. Threat and Error ManagementThreat and Error Management

2.

2. Situation AwarenessSituation Awareness

3.

3. Decision MakingDecision Making

4.

4. Critical ThinkingCritical Thinking

5.

5. Situation Awareness and Decision MakingSituation Awareness and Decision Making

Everyone thinks; it is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to

Everyone thinks; it is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to

itself, is biased,

itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed or down-right distorted, partial, uninformed or down-right prejudiced. Yprejudiced. Yetet

the quality of our life

the quality of our life and that of what we and that of what we produce, make, or build dependsproduce, make, or build depends

precisely on the quality of our

precisely on the quality of our thought. Poor thinking is costly, both inthought. Poor thinking is costly, both in

money and in quality of life.

money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought, howeverExcellence in thought, however, must be, must be

systematically and continuously cultivated.

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 All flight and ground operations

 All flight and ground operations

T hr e a

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t an d Er r o

t an d Er r o

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Threat and Error Management (TEM) is a major safety process in aviation.

Threat and Error Management (TEM) is a major safety process in aviation.

TEM consists of detecting, avoiding or trapping threats and errors t

TEM consists of detecting, avoiding or trapping threats and errors that challenge thehat challenge the

safety of flight operations. Where threats and

safety of flight operations. Where threats and errors are not contained the resultingerrors are not contained the resulting

conditions must be managed and their adverse effects reduced.

conditions must be managed and their adverse effects reduced.

Plane Plane Path Path People People Threats

Threats Errors Errors Undesired Undesired StatesStates

Detect

Detect

 Avoid / T

 Avoid / Traprap

Mitigate Mitigate Resist Resist Resolve Resolve Recover Recover

Fly the aircraft,

Fly the aircraft, Navigate, Communicate, ManageNavigate, Communicate, Manage

Decision Making

Decision Making

Situation Awareness

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Situation Awareness is having an accurate

Situation Awareness is having an accurate

understanding of your

understanding of your

surroundings, where you are, what happened, what is happening, what is

surroundings, where you are, what happened, what is happening, what is

changing, why, and what could happen.

changing, why, and what could happen.

Good situation awareness requires:

Good situation awareness requires:

1.

1. Gathering data (sensing, perception), seeking cues in the environmentGathering data (sensing, perception), seeking cues in the environment 2.

2.  Assembling information  Assembling information to give understandto give understanding (comprehensing (comprehension)ion) 3.

3. and then thinking ahead (projection)and then thinking ahead (projection)

Thinking about situation awareness involves:

Thinking about situation awareness involves:

 –

 – directing your attention to seek data; scanning a range of sourcesdirecting your attention to seek data; scanning a range of sources  –

 – evaluating information without bias, for accuracy and relevanceevaluating information without bias, for accuracy and relevance  –

 – understanding, using your knowledge and previous experiencesunderstanding, using your knowledge and previous experiences  –

 – comparing and checking, visualising future events -comparing and checking, visualising future events - ‘what if’‘what if’  –

 – planning ahead, considering possible outcomesplanning ahead, considering possible outcomes

People People Path Path Plane Plane Future Future Now Now Situation Situation Planning Planning  Ahead  Ahead Gathering Gathering data data Understanding Understanding

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Decision making is about assessment and choosing a course of action

Decision making is about assessment and choosing a course of action

Decision making requires an understanding of the

Decision making requires an understanding of the situation and controlled thinkingsituation and controlled thinking

The situation determines the urgency of the decision, the risks, and

The situation determines the urgency of the decision, the risks, and actionsactions

Controlled thinking:

Controlled thinking:

 –

 – Reduces riskReduces risk  –

 – Moderates behaviourModerates behaviour  –

 – Manages time constraintsManages time constraints  –

 – Uses knowledge; seeks optionsUses knowledge; seeks options  –

 – Judges relevance and the quality of the choiceJudges relevance and the quality of the choice  –

 – Prepares for action, evaluates the outcome of planned actionPrepares for action, evaluates the outcome of planned action

O O D A O O D A Observe Observe Orient Orient Deduce Deduce  Act  Act D E C I D E D E C I D E Detect a change Detect a change Estimate significance Estimate significance

Choose a safe outcome

Choose a safe outcome

Identify possible actions

Identify possible actions

Do take action

Do take action

Evaluate the result

Evaluate the result

5 D 5 D Detect Detect Determine Determine Decide Decide Do Do Discipline Discipline GRADE GRADE Gather Information Gather Information Review Information Review Information  Analyse

 Analyse AlternativesAlternatives

Decide

Decide

Evaluate

Evaluate Outcome Outcome ofof

 Action

 Action

T H I N K

T H I N K

Expertise involves knowing how to decide, grade, and think

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Thinking inside the

Thinking inside the

‘box’ before you think

‘box’ before you think

outside of the box

outside of the box

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Critical thinking provides the mental control and discipline required for

Critical thinking provides the mental control and discipline required for

situation assessment and decision making. It involves several skills;

situation assessment and decision making. It involves several skills;

these can be learnt, practiced, and improved.

these can be learnt, practiced, and improved.

Control your mind by:

Control your mind by:

 –

 – Seeking and understanding information, facts, and dataSeeking and understanding information, facts, and data  –

 – Effective planning, briefing, and communicationEffective planning, briefing, and communication  –

 – Increasing knowledge; gaining experienceIncreasing knowledge; gaining experience  –

 – Learning within a situation (context)Learning within a situation (context)

Maintain discipline by:

Maintain discipline by:

 –

 – Being aware of how you think; hazardous attitudesBeing aware of how you think; hazardous attitudes  –

 – Evaluating your actions; having self regulationEvaluating your actions; having self regulation  –

 – Being aware of all Being aware of all available resourcesavailable resources  –

 – Being sensitive to feedbackBeing sensitive to feedback

Critical Thinking is the skill of

Critical Thinking is the skill of

thinking about your thinking

thinking about your thinking

“Are you

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Self awareness 

Self awareness 

Self awareness - self questioning, self monitoring

Self awareness - self questioning, self monitoring

 Am I biased in my thinkin

 Am I biased in my thinkingg

Have I made a plan for what I want to do

Have I made a plan for what I want to do

 Are my ideas or know

 Are my ideas or knowledge on this issue correctledge on this issue correct

 Am I aware of my thinking;

 Am I aware of my thinking; what am I trying to dowhat am I trying to do

 Am I using all of the resources

 Am I using all of the resources for what I want to dofor what I want to do

 Am I evaluating m

 Am I evaluating my thinking, what I would do diy thinking, what I would do differently next timefferently next time

 Am I aware of how w

 Am I aware of how well I am doing; do I need to change ell I am doing; do I need to change my actions or intentionsmy actions or intentions

Monitoring

Monitoringis checking or testing the accuracy of a situation on a regularis checking or testing the accuracy of a situation on a regular

basis. It is keeping a

basis. It is keeping a close watch over parametersclose watch over parameters

and supervising the outcome of planned action.

and supervising the outcome of planned action.

It is checking for threats and errors in our thinking

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K n o w l e d g e  

K n o w l e d g e  

Improving your thinking with Knowledge

Improving your thinking with Knowledge

Knowledge of Yourself

Knowledge of Yourself

 –

 –  A Commitment to safety,  A Commitment to safety, not following feelinot following feelings or preferencengs or preference  –

 – Positive Attitudes, persistence, resourcefulness, learning from failurePositive Attitudes, persistence, resourcefulness, learning from failure  –

 –  Attention to detail and  Attention to detail and seeing the big picseeing the big picture; determining ture; determining relevance, assessrelevance, assessing risking risk

Knowledge about the Thinking Processes

Knowledge about the Thinking Processes

 –

 – Knowing the facts necessary to do a task by seeking informationKnowing the facts necessary to do a task by seeking information  –

 – Knowing how to do a task, how to scan, understand, and think aheadKnowing how to do a task, how to scan, understand, and think ahead  –

 – Knowing why certain strategies work, when to use them, why one is better than anotherKnowing why certain strategies work, when to use them, why one is better than another

Knowledge to control your Thinking

Knowledge to control your Thinking

 –

 – Self evaluation, assessing current technical Self evaluation, assessing current technical knowledge, setting objectives, selecting resourcesknowledge, setting objectives, selecting resources  –

 – Self regulation, checking progress; reviewing choices, procedures, and Self regulation, checking progress; reviewing choices, procedures, and objectivesobjectives  –

 – Planning, choosing and evaluating a path to the Planning, choosing and evaluating a path to the objectiveobjective

Planning is the process of thinking about what you

Planning is the process of thinking about what you willwill

do in the event

do in the event of something happening or notof something happening or not

happening

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B e h a v i o u r

B e h a v i o u r

Improving your thinking by changing behaviour

Improving your thinking by changing behaviour

Changing your thinking habit requires effort; clear thinking is an essential

Changing your thinking habit requires effort; clear thinking is an essential

part of airmanship, which has to be

part of airmanship, which has to be developed throughout your career.developed throughout your career.

Basic training only provides those skills necessary to be safe.

Basic training only provides those skills necessary to be safe.

Safe:

Safe: Continuation Continuation training training and and experience experience enables enables an an effective effective operation.operation.

Effective:

Effective: More More technical technical knowledge, knowledge, practiced practiced skills, skills, and mand more exore experienceperience

leads to an efficient operation.

leads to an efficient operation.

Efficient:

Efficient: Skilful Skilful command command in in controlling controlling the the aircraft aircraft and and team team leadership leadership addsadds

experience and moves towards an expert operation.

experience and moves towards an expert operation.

Expert:

Expert: An An operator operator who who has has gained gained and and who who maintains maintains a a high high standard standard ofof

technical and non-technical skills as a result of great

technical and non-technical skills as a result of great personal effort.personal effort.

Expert thinkers

Expert thinkers

Focus on relevant issues

Focus on relevant issues

Identify essential information

Identify essential information

Consider information on merit

Consider information on merit

T

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Improving your thinking - Briefing

Improving your thinking - Briefing

Before flight, self briefing reinforces memory cues and knowledge, these aid the recall

Before flight, self briefing reinforces memory cues and knowledge, these aid the recall

of information for use in situat

of information for use in situation assessment and decision making.ion assessment and decision making.

Know on what, who, where, and when

Know on what, who, where, and when to prioritise you attentionto prioritise you attention

 Always brief routine operation

 Always brief routine operationss – – repetition aids memory repetition aids memory

Structure the briefing along the intended flight path

Structure the briefing along the intended flight path

Visualise your actions (plane, path, people)

Visualise your actions (plane, path, people)

Consider the significant threats

Consider the significant threats

Recall lessons from training

Recall lessons from training

Refresh SOPs Refresh SOPs Questions Questions Do not rush: Do not rush: Y

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Person

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al De

al Debrief 

brief 

Improving your thinking - Debrief

Improving your thinking - Debrief

 After each flight consider the

 After each flight consider the following points; Plus, following points; Plus, Minus, Interesting (PMI)Minus, Interesting (PMI)

Plus:-What was good

What was good

What went according to plan

What went according to plan

Minus:-What was not so good, and why

What was not so good, and why

What didn’t you know, find the answer before the next flight

What didn’t you know, find the answer before the next flight

Interesting:-Have you changed the way in which you see things; threats, risks, people or procedures

Have you changed the way in which you see things; threats, risks, people or procedures

What did you learn, why, and where did the information come from

What did you learn, why, and where did the information come from

Will you share this with others, if not

Will you share this with others, if not why notwhy not

 Anything for a safety ev

 Anything for a safety event report (ASR)ent report (ASR)

 Any issues for confidenti

 Any issues for confidential reportingal reporting

Did you

Did you

experience:-High workload High workload Poor attitudes Poor attitudes Biased opinions Biased opinions Mismanaged time Mismanaged time Unanswered questions Unanswered questions

Plus

Plus

Minus

Minus

Interesting

Interesting

Debriefing

Debriefing

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 All flight and ground operatio

 All flight and ground operationsns

T h i n k i n g

T h i n k i n g

a b o u t

a b o u t

Si tuat

Si tuat

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Situation Awareness and Decision Making depend on our ability to think.

Situation Awareness and Decision Making depend on our ability to think.

Thinking enables humans to be very successful, but this ability also enables errors,

Thinking enables humans to be very successful, but this ability also enables errors,

which if not controlled increase the risks in our daily activities.

which if not controlled increase the risks in our daily activities.

 Action  Action Monitor Monitor Feedback Feedback Review Review Response Response

Decision Making

Decision Making

Situation

Situation

Awareness

Awareness

Working memory Working memory

Long term memory - knowledge, bias, beliefs

Long term memory - knowledge, bias, beliefs

Pattern recognition Pattern recognition Comparison Comparison Choice Choice Selection Selection Senses: Senses: See See Hear Hear Touch Touch Smell Smell Taste Taste

Value your ability, use it wisely

Value your ability, use it wisely

Threats Errors

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Critical thinking for Situation Awareness

Critical thinking for Situation Awareness

 –

 –

 seeking information

 seeking information

Essential components:

Essential components:

 –

 –  Accuracy; is the information  Accuracy; is the information truetrue  –

 – Clarity; is the information understoodClarity; is the information understood  –

 – Precision, seek detail to understand the situationPrecision, seek detail to understand the situation  –

 – Relevance, is the information connected to the situationRelevance, is the information connected to the situation  –

 – Depth, does the information address the complexity of the sitDepth, does the information address the complexity of the situationuation  –

 – Breadth, are there other points of view or other ways to consider this situationBreadth, are there other points of view or other ways to consider this situation  –

 – Logic, does your understanding of the situation make senseLogic, does your understanding of the situation make sense

Whenever you don’t understand something,

Whenever you don’t understand something,

ask yourself a question for clarification

ask yourself a question for clarification

?

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f o r D e c i s i on M a k i n g

f o r D e c i s i on M a k i n g

Critical thinking for Decision Making

Critical thinking for Decision Making

 –

 –

 the choice of action

 the choice of action

Essential components:

Essential components:

 –

 – What are the immediate risksWhat are the immediate risks  –

 – What is the time available for the decisionWhat is the time available for the decision  –

 – State the objective of the decision to be madeState the objective of the decision to be made  –

 – Identify information to be used in making the decisionIdentify information to be used in making the decision  –

 – Gather the evidence and information required to make a decisionGather the evidence and information required to make a decision  –

 – Make a decision based on criteria (a safe outMake a decision based on criteria (a safe outcome), information, and riskscome), information, and risks  –

 –  Ask, what does the evidence  Ask, what does the evidence and information mand information mean considering the objeean considering the objective?ctive?

Routine Routine Trained Trained For For Unusual Unusual Novel Novel Situation Situation Knowledge Knowledge Skill Skill Rules Rules Needs Needs Uses Uses Requires Requires

 Almost automatic action;

 Almost automatic action; actions haveactions have

been thought-through during training

been thought-through during training

Think about which action applies to

Think about which action applies to

the situation, compare with training

the situation, compare with training

Think about the situation, compare with

Think about the situation, compare with

standard actions, training, and previous

standard actions, training, and previous

experience

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Critical thinking is at the centre of all safety

Critical thinking is at the centre of all safety

processes and human activity.

processes and human activity.

Threat and Error

Threat and Error

Management

Management

Decision

Decision

Making

Making

Situation

Situation

 Awaren

 Awaren

ess

ess

Critical Thinking

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References