Aviation Investigation Report A98H0003

1.19.6  Speech Micro-coding Analysis (STI1-125)

A strong relationship exists between language use and human performance. An analysis of the verbal communications between the pilots within the cockpit, and between the pilots and ATC was conducted to help assess crew coordination, workload, and problem solving in handling the situation. A speech micro-coding protocol was refined from academic literature and was used to classify verbal communication segments in order to derive and analyze relevant data. Cockpit crew communications were partitioned into verbal thought units (VTU), with each VTU representing a verbal communication dealing with a single thought, intent, or action. Nine speech forms and seven qualitative descriptors were used to classify each VTU, and to evaluate the adequacy and appropriateness of the communication. This coding was further used to analyze how task focus, as measured through verbal communication, was distributed between the two pilots.

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