Adaptability: Human Performance in Ambiguous, Unpredictable, and Uncertain Environments; Theory, Examples, and Training

Holly Roselle, United States Military, USA
Louis Csoka, APEX Performance, Inc., USA
Mark Stephenson, Naval Special Warfare Development Group, USA

Theme: Novel applications (music, dance, military)

Program ID: SYM-09

Presentation: October 3, 2013 8:15 am - 9:30 am

Room: Rosedown


As adaptability becomes increasingly important within all areas of organizations, the focus on adaptability training has also increased. Organizations that formerly performed best with defined protocols, structure, and routine are reexamining the need for change. The United States Military is one of those organizations. Current combat operational environments (COE) consist of asymmetric threats that are instantaneously changing from threatening to nonthreatening. The current and future COE includes conventional warfare as well as non-conventional warfare such as diplomacy, social, economic, and political warfare that replaces and develops civil government (Mahaney, 2010). As a result, the performance demand is consistently changing in the course of the mission, which has created a reexamination of training for optimal human performance (Freeman & Burns, 2010). The need for a more adaptable military has created a recent surge in adaptability research that has established theories, models, education and training surrounding adaptive performance. Theories such as Eight Dimension Taxonomy and I-ADAPT describe the knowledge, skills and characteristics that underlie the metaskill of adaptability (Pulakos et al., 2001; Ployhart & Bliese, 2005). Additionally,major military organizations have created training strategies to enhance human performance in ambiguous, unpredictable and uncertain environments. While the recent field of knowledge surrounding adaptability was motivated by the Department of Defense, it can provide a new and powerful contribution to the field of sport and human performance psychology. Sport performance can greatly benefit from adaptability theory and applied work because they share an element of human performance that is uncertain and unpredictable. Four presenters will present on 1) the theories, models, and needs surrounding adaptability 2) characteristics of uncertain environments and the use of mental skills in these environments 3) applied training techniques that increase the mental demands of adaptability. References: (available on request)

Search abstracts

Follow Us:

social-btm social-btm social-btm