The concept of habit in the analysis of situated actions

Leena Norros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The paper presents a new framework for the analysis of situated action from a cultural point of view. The methodology is named the Core-Task Analysis. Its aim is to promote understanding of the core content of particular work activity and the dynamics of the construction of situated actions in complex, dynamic and uncertain environments. The methodology also aims at evaluating working practices and culture by providing a way to analyse the internal good of practices. The CTA approach draws on the cultural–historical theory of activity and its current application in the developmental work research. It also utilizes functional modelling of the constraints of work domains to identify the environmental affordances for action. The innovative feature of the approach—that could be labelled an ecological one—is to complement activity theoretical analysis by exploiting the pragmatic conception of habit. This solution provides an empirical way of analysing situated action and operations in connection with their societal meaning and motivation. A study of the anaesthetists’ actions in clinical situations is utilised to demonstrate the Core-Task Approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-407
JournalTheoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • activity
  • habit
  • complex work
  • reflective practice
  • anaesthesia
  • work practices
  • work psychology


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