This behaviour is shown when performing skills. It is based on practice and prior learning, to become part of motor programmes. Reactions are largely unconscious and automatic. As such, conscious control is usually not required. There are 2 types of pilot errors relating to skills, which typically do not occur in novices since they normally have to think about each action. Skill-based errors only occur in those with experience. Experienced personnel should keep in mind that they are prone to errors at this level when they are preoccupied, tired, or otherwise distracted.
If a problem occurs and skill-based behaviour does not lead to the desired outcome, a higher level of attention is required, and people change to rule-based behaviour. Rule-based behaviours are not only written down, most are stored in our long-term memory (such as emergency drills). This relies on previously considered courses of action, and follows procedures, like checklists and SOPs. While requiring more attention than skill-based behaviour, it is still fairly fast and autonomous. Once the application of a rule resolves the problem, you revert to automatic mode.
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