Cognitive Work Analysis

Emilie M. Roth and Ann M. Bisantz

in The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Engineering

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199757183
Published online May 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Cognitive Work           Analysis

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This chapter provides an introduction to the goals, methods, and applications of cognitive work analysis (CWA). CWA provides a comprehensive framework for uncovering the requirements, constraints, and affordances for cognitive and collaborative work in a domain. It combines multiple layers of analysis that encompass characteristics and constraints of the domain, work objectives and methods, cognitive skills and strategy requirements, and social and organizational influences. It provides the foundation for design of novel displays and decision aids, as well as other aspects of human system integration, including function allocation, team structure design, and training requirements specification. It is particularly valuable for analysis and design of first-of-a-kind systems, especially for complex, dynamic, high-risk domains where the ability to understand and act adaptively in the face of unanticipated conditions is critical. The chapter provides an overview of the CWA framework, including historical roots and theoretical underpinnings. It describes the five analyses that collectively constitute a CWA, providing example applications and sample outputs of each phase.

Keywords: cognitive work analysis; work domain analysis; abstraction hierarchy; control task analysis; strategies analysis; social; organizational; and cooperation analysis; competencies analysis

Article.  12305 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology

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