Naturally Aligned: A Psycholinguistic Study of Shared Situation Awareness Among Military Sensor Operations Teams
Proceedings of the Eighth International Naturalistic Decision Making (NDM) Conference, K. Mosier & U. Fischer, eds., Pacific Grove, CA, June 2007
13 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2008 Last revised: 29 Aug 2010
Date Written: August 27, 2010
Military sensor operators talk as they work. Individuals operating as a team converse to recognize and focus attention upon elements of evidence, to conceive elements into populations, and to imagine what might happen next. When different teams interplay their different sensors, contradictory data, misunderstandings, and different constraints impose heavy cognitive overhead costs. Teams must think cross-culturally to collapse expert intuitions into poetically brief remarks that preserve uncertainties and ambiguities. These conversational negotiations are linguistically remarkable for speed, multiple overlapping speakers, terseness (very little data), and subjective ease. The interactive alignment account of Garrod & Pickering explains natural dialogue as a scaffold of neural representations (sounds to situations) among which priming mechanisms percolate activations. Dialogue is easy because automaticity aligns each person's scaffold into a predictive/reactive situation model subject to conscious control. We use an illustrative dialogue to explore the idea that cross-cultural situation awareness has recruited these psycholinguistic mechanisms.
Keywords: psycholinguistics, situation awareness, dialogue, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), internet relay chat (IRC)
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