A Cognitive Systems Engineering Perspective on Shared Cognition: Coping With Complexity*

Emily S. Patterson and Robert J. Stephens


In this chapter, we provide an overview of a cognitive systems engineering (CSE) perspective on shared cognition, including a set of team coordination patterns and factors that trigger them. From a CSE perspective, macrocognition is conducted by teams of humans supported by technological aids to effectively cope with complexity in the world. The term “macrocognition” is defined as “how cognition adapts to complexity” (Klein, 2010, p. 71; Klein et al., 2003). The “macro” in macrocognition emphasizes that the perspective is based on studying real-world settings across multiple individuals using tools ...

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