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View from the virtual pocket: Using virtual simulation and video game technology to assess the situation awareness and decision making of NCAA quarterbacks

, Pepperdine University, United States

Pepperdine University . Awarded


View from the Virtual Pocket is a proof of concept study in which a theoretical proposition about situation awareness in time constrained decision making is wedded to the affordances of a computer based simulation to ascertain if the real world decision making in the pocket of an NCAA quarterback can be modeled successfully for simulation based learning.

The researcher used the Situation Awareness Global Assessment Technique (SAGAT) for the purposes of (a) analyzing the situation awareness requirements for expert decision making and (b) to empirically assess the viability of using a computer based football simulator as a SAGAT simulation tool.

The highlight of this study is a Goal Directed Task Analysis (GDTA) developed in conjunction with some of the most recognized names in professional and collegiate football. The results of the (GDTA), a form of cognitive task analysis, defined the information requirements for expert quarterbacking and shed light on the enormous cognitive demands placed on the quarterback.

The researcher was able to create, categorize and program SAGAT queries from the Goal Directed Task Analysis into an innovative virtual reality simulator called the PlayAction Simulator PC. Once the queries were programmed and the plays were published, the Researcher evaluated the simulator's ability to (a) stop a simulated repetition at random points to ask probing questions aimed at evaluating a quarterback's SA and (b) create the ecological validity required to extapolate the informating needed to measure situation awareness in the domain of the quarterback.

The results of this inquiry (a) identified the goals of the quarterback, the decisions the quarterback has to make to achieve those goals and the information the quarterback needs to know in order to make accurate decisions, (b) validated the ability of the interactive virtual simulator to be used as a SAGAT Simulation tool in the assessment of the quarterback's situation awareness.

Additionally, the Goal Directed Task Analysis led to the creation of the Decision Making Model 4 QB's. The model, a hybrid of the Endsley (2000a; 2000b) SA Model and the Klein (1998) RPD Model, represents a viable and testable description of the situation assessment process that quarterbacks use to formulate an aerial hypothesis. Inherent in this new model is a proposition about the role of unconscious competence in the optimization of serially generated options.


Bristow, B. View from the virtual pocket: Using virtual simulation and video game technology to assess the situation awareness and decision making of NCAA quarterbacks. Ph.D. thesis, Pepperdine University. Retrieved September 24, 2021 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.

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