The importance of communication on the flightdeck is discussed and the aplication of a new computer-based linguistic method of text analysis is introduced. Preliminary results from a NASA B727 simulator study indicate that specific language variables are moderately to highly correlated with individual performance, individual error rates, and individual communication ratings. Also, language use was found to vary as a function of crew position and level of workload during the flight. Use of the first person plural (we, our, us) increases over the life of a flightcrew, and Captains speak more in the first person plural than First Officers or Flight Engineers. Language use in initial flights was assocated with performance and error in subsequent flights. These are preliminary data, in htat this method of linguistic analysis is currently being developed and integrated with a content-coding method of communication analysis and models of threat and error.
Sexton, J. Bryan and Helmreich, Robert L.
"Analyzing Cockpit Communications: The Links Between Language, Performance, Error, and Workload,"
Journal of Human Performance in Extreme Environments:
1, Article 6.