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Models for Practicing ADM – The DECIDE Model

in Human Factors

Another structured approach to ADM is the DECIDE model, which is a six-step process intended to provide a logical way of approaching decision-making. As in the 3P model, the elements of the DECIDE model represent a continuous loop process to assist a pilot in the decision-making required when faced with a situational change that requires judgment. [Figure 1-13C] The model is primarily focused on the intellectual component, but can have an impact on the motivational component of judgment as well. If a pilot continually uses the DECIDE Model in all decision-making, it becomes natural and results in better decisions being made under all types of situations. The steps in this approach are listed in Figure 1-13C.

In conventional decision-making, the need for a decision is triggered by recognition that something has changed or an expected change did not occur. Recognition of the change, or lack of change, is a vital step in any decision making process. Not noticing change in a situation can lead directly to a mishap. [Figure 1-13A] The change indicates that an appropriate response or action is necessary in order to modify the situation (or, at least, one of the elements that comprise it) and bring about a desired new situation. Therefore, situational awareness is the key to successful and safe decision making.  At this point in the process, the pilot is faced with a need to evaluate the entire range of possible responses to the detected change and to determine the best course of action.  Figure 1-13B illustrates how the ADM process expands conventional decision-making, shows the interactions of the ADM steps, and how these steps can produce a safe outcome.

Figure 1-13. Decision-Making.

Figure 1-13. Decision-Making.


Starting with the recognition of change, and following with an assessment of alternatives, a decision to act or not act is made, and the results are monitored. Pilots can use ADM to enhance their conventional decision-making process because it:

  1. Increases their awareness of the importance of attitude in decision-making;
  2. Teaches the ability to search for and establish relevance of information; and
  3. Increases their motivation to choose and execute actions that ensure safety in the situational timeframe.


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