Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Julie Apker

Second Advisor

Dr. Peter Northouse

Third Advisor

Dr. Wendy Ford

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Despite the high reliability of current aeronautical technology and safety improvements, human error continues to be a factor in 60-80% of all aviation mishaps. Training to diminish potential errors is often based on analysis of faulty procedures, or lack of procedures without a systemic view including human factors such as communication, decision-making and interaction dynamics. This research explores the existence of the psychological construct of shared mindfulness and examines how it is communicatively constructed and enacted in a high reliability environment such as the aviation industry. The present qualitative study examines shared mindfulness in 10 aviation student dyads in a decision-making crisis situation to identify the communication behaviors of the construct and to determine whether shared mindfulness may lead to more effective pilot decision outcomes.

The study findings reveal both the existence of shared mindfulness as a communicative construct and identify seven inductively derived communication process categories that create shared mindfulness in a dyadic interaction. Additionally, the study findings show that those dyads that demonstrated more communication behaviors of shared mindfulness also made the most effective decisions.