The human operator is a key component in many complex technological systems. The question of situation awareness considers the human as a cognitive component within a technological system. Synthetic task environments are suggested as important frameworks for developing empirical research programs to further one's theoretical understanding of situation awareness and for mapping this theoretical understanding on to design decisions. The synthetic task environment provides a rich semantic context where functional constraints on goals, information, and action can be manipulated, and where both operator and system performance can be measured at multiple levels.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/john_flach/65/