Working Minds: A Practitioner's Guide to Cognitive Task Analysis

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MIT Press, 2006 - Business & Economics - 332 pages
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Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA) helps researchers understand how cognitive skills andstrategies make it possible for people to act effectively and get things done. CTA can yieldinformation people need -- employers faced with personnel issues, market researchers who want tounderstand the thought processes of consumers, trainers and others who design instructional systems,health care professionals who want to apply lessons learned from errors and accidents, systemsanalysts developing user specifications, and many other professionals. CTA can show what makes theworkplace work -- and what keeps it from working as well as it might.

Working Minds is a true handbook, offering a set of tools for doing CTA: methodsfor collecting data about cognitive processes and events, analyzing them, and communicating themeffectively. It covers both the "why" and the "how" of CTA methods, providing examples, guidance,and stories from the authors' own experiences as CTA practitioners. Because effective use of CTAdepends on some conceptual grounding in cognitive theory and research -- on knowing what a cognitiveperspective can offer -- the book also offers an overview of current research oncognition.

The book provides detailed guidance for planning and carrying out CTA,with chapters on capturing knowledge and capturing the way people reason. It discusses studyingcognition in real-world settings and the challenges of rapidly changing technology. And it describeskey issues in applying CTA findings in a variety of fields. Working Minds makes the methodology ofCTA accessible and the skills involved attainable.


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1 Introduction
2 Overview of Cognitive Task Analysis Methods
I Tools for Exploring Cognition in Context
II Finding Cognition
III Putting CTA Findings to Use

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About the author (2006)

Gary Klein is a Senior Scientist at Applied Research Associates. He is the author of Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions (1999) and the coauthor of Working Minds: A Practitioner's Guide to Cognitive Task Analysis (2006), both published by the MIT Press.

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