Skip to Main Content
According to theories of cognitive processing style or cognitive control mode, human performance is more effective when an individual’s cognitive state (e.g., intuition/scramble vs. deliberate/strategic) matches his/her ecological constraints or context (e.g., utilize intuition to strive for a “good-enough” response instead of deliberating for the “best” response under high time pressure). Ill- mapping between cognitive state and ecolgoical constraints are believed to lead to degraded task performance. Consequently, incorporating support systems which are designed to specifically address multiple cognitive and functional states e.g., high workload, stress, boredom, and initiate appropriate mitigation strategies (e.g., reduce information load) is essential to reduce plant risk. Utilizing the concept of Cognitive Control Models, this paper will discuss he importance of tailoring support systems to match an operator’s cognitive state, and will further discuss the importance of these ecological constraints in selecting and implementing mitigation strategies for safe and effective system performance. An example from the nuclear power plant industry illustrating how a support system might be tailored to support different cognitive states is included.