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Exploring the nature of cognitive resilience strategies

Day, J.D. (2018). Exploring the nature of cognitive resilience strategies. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Where improving the safety or performance of a system, there is a tendency to focus on negative aspects surrounding human performance or interaction: errors, threats, past incidents or identified issues and flaws. This does not, however, tell the whole story. Users frequently deploy a variety of resilient interventions, devising and implementing strategies to improve performance and mitigate threats such as errorparticularly during complex or challenging circumstances. In so doing, users can and do make an active, positive contribution to the wider resilience of a system. To date, the subject of how individual actors within a system leverage such resilience strategies to improve the functioning of said system is a topic that has received only limited direct investigation.

An initial study was undertaken as a probing investigation to test the notion of user-configured cues as a means to facilitate individual resilience. The insights from this study challenged an existing foundational categorisation scheme, which we then sought to expand and refine in collaboration with its original authors, to better represent and articulate 10 different types of resilience strategy. As a means to broaden our real-world pool of strategy accounts, a diary study was then conducted, the resulting data being used to both inform and validate a new iteration of the scheme. Stemming from challenges of the applicability of the scheme to complex resilience cases, we introduced the notion of a new type of compound strategy, and developed a framework to support their analysis by deconstructing them to examine their motivational and functional components. A final controlled laboratory study was undertaken to apply our insights. The resultant refined categorisation scheme and conceptual framework enrich our understanding of the phenomenon of user or individual resilience and could potentially be leveraged to inform and support the design of future technical and sociotechnical systems.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Science & Technology > School of Science & Technology Doctoral Theses
School of Science & Technology > Computer Science > Human Computer Interaction Design
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