An Investigation of How Cognitive Flexibility and Active-Coping Strategy Influence Pilots' Stress Level When Working in High-Risk Environment

PhD Thesis


Tianchai, Maneerat. 2022. An Investigation of How Cognitive Flexibility and Active-Coping Strategy Influence Pilots' Stress Level When Working in High-Risk Environment. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/q7x03
Title

An Investigation of How Cognitive Flexibility and Active-Coping Strategy Influence Pilots' Stress Level When Working in High-Risk Environment

TypePhD Thesis
AuthorsTianchai, Maneerat
Supervisor
1. FirstA/Pr Tarryn Kille
2. SecondProf Paul Bates
2. SecondPaul Lee
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages312
Year2022
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/q7x03
Abstract

The aviation industry is a fast-paced and high-risk environment where a pilot is required to tolerate stressful circumstances to maintain appropriate safety standards for the operation of aircraft. Various safety management concepts have been implemented aiming to maximise pilot performance and minimise risk. Nevertheless, accidents occur, and these have disastrous impacts on the whole industry. Many documented aircraft accidents are related to human error, suggesting that some pilots may lack the ability to recover adequately from an unexpected situation. This lack of a suitable response indicates that the current most effective pilot training for operating an aircraft competently may be inadequate. Therefore, there may be additional training elements to be considered. One of these elements is the concept of 'resilience', which has gathered momentum recently with respect to pilot competency in a stressful environment. The aim of this thesis is to identify resilience factors that help to develop or improve pilots' resilience capability when working in the high-stress environment of flying an aeroplane.

This research infers that cognitive flexibility and active coping strategies are important factors in strengthening and maintaining pilots' resilience. To determine whether cognitive flexibility and active coping strategies are capabilities of a resilient pilot, an assessment was executed in two separate studies. The collective findings from the two studies signify that cognitive flexibility and active coping strategies contribute to a resilient pilot. The group of professional airline pilots appeared to have higher cognitive flexibility than the group of 'Experienced in Flying Students' (EFS), and the EFSs in turn had higher cognitive flexibility than the group of 'Non-experience in Flying Students' (NFS). This trend also appeared in the engagement of active coping strategies. These capabilities were found to be strengthened through initial flight training and sustained through the ongoing training process. The findings from this research fully support that cognitive flexibility and active coping strategies are attributes of resilient pilots, and these capabilities should be developed and strengthened from the ab initio to the professional level, so that flight safety can be better assured.

KeywordsAviation, Pilot, Resilience, Stress,Cognitive Flexibility, Active Coping Strategy
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020520199. Applied and developmental psychology not elsewhere classified
520104. Industrial and organisational psychology (incl. human factors)
520505. Social psychology
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsSchool of Business
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