Team Situation Awareness and Conflict: A Study of Human–Machine Teaming

Nathan J. McNeese, Mustafa Demir, Nancy J. Cooke, Manrong She

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


This article focuses on two fundamental human–human teamwork behaviors and seeks to understand them better in human–machine teams. Specifically, team situation awareness (TSA) and team conflict are examined in human–machine teams. There is a significant need to identify how TSA and team conflict occur during human–machine teaming, in addition to how they impact each other. In this work, we present an experiment aimed at understanding TSA and team conflict in the context of human–machine teaming in a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS). Three conditions were tested: (1) control: teams consisted of all humans; (2) synthetic: teams consisted of the pilot role being occupied by a computational agent based on ACT-R architecture that employed AI capabilities, with all other team roles being humans; and (3) experimenter: an experimenter playing the role of the pilot as a highly effective computational agent, with the other roles being humans. The results indicate that TSA improved over time in synthetic teams, improved and then stabilized over time in experimenter teams, and did not improve in control teams. In addition, results show that control teams had the most team conflict. Finally, in the control condition, team conflict negatively impacts TSA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-96
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • human–machine teaming
  • team conflict
  • team effectiveness
  • team situational awareness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Computer Science Applications


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