situation of reference: the
A. Van Daele & D. Coffyn
University of Mons-Hainaut Department of Work Psychology
The simulation of work situations is characterized nowadays by the diversity of the finalities that it pursues as well as by the multiplicity of the practices that it produces. It is usual to distinguish three types of finalities : research, training and design ( Leplat 1992, Béguin and Weill-Fassina 1997, Rogalski 1997). In all cases, the simulation is often defined as a substitution process in comparison with reality ( Weissberg 1989). A major question comes up: "to what degree is the simulated situation representative of the natural situation at work?" This question refers to the representations of those who design the simulation. We think that even if this question is crucial, it only covers a part of the important questions to be asked. The representation of those who are confronted with it seem as important to take into consideration. That involves considering the point of view of the operators in a situation of simulation, the understanding that they elaborate from it and the meaning they give to their activity. Defining the situations of simulation from the significance that the operators develop allows to reconsider the stakes of the relation between the situation of simulation and the situation of reference ( Dubey 1997, Pastré 1997, Samurçay and Rogalski 1998).