Aeronautical decision making: Instructor-pilot evaluation of five Mnemonic methods

Wen Chin Li, Don Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The ability to make good decisions is a critical component of pilot proficiency. Results of recent research suggest that aeronautical decision making (ADM) can be improved by training. The purposes of this research are to identify the best ADM mnemonic-based methods for training military pilots in decision making in tactical environments. Methods: There were 60 instructor pilots in the Republic of China Air Force Academy who evaluated the suitability of 5 different ADM methods including SHOR (Stimuli, Hypotheses, Options, Response); PASS (Problem identification, Acquire information, Survey strategy, Select strategy); FOR-DEC (Facts, Options, Risks & Benefits, Decision, Execution, Check); SOAR (Situation, Options, Act, Repeat); and DESIDE (Detect, Estimate, Set safety objectives, Identify, Do, Evaluate). Each was evaluated for six different types of decisions: go/no go; recognition-primed; response selection; resource management; non-diagnostic procedural; and creative problem-solving. Results: The instructor-pilots regarded the SHOR method as the best for time-limited and critical, urgent situations, while they preferred DESIDE for knowledge-based decisions that needed more comprehensive consideration and were less time limited. Discussion: To optimize training effectiveness, it is necessary to provide instruction based around both the SHOR and DESIDE decision-making mnemonic methods to provide comprehensive instruction for coping with all situations in the demanding military aviation environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1156-1161
Number of pages6
JournalAviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Aeronautical decision making (ADM)
  • Decision-making mnemonics
  • Human error
  • Knowledge-based decisions
  • Rule-based decisions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Medicine(all)


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