1st Edition

Decision-Making Under Stress Emerging Themes and Applications

    In our high technology society, there is a growing demand for a better understanding of decision making in high risk situations in order to improve selection, training and operational performance. Decision Making Under Stress presents a state-of-the-art review of psychological theory, in research and practice, on decision making in high pressure and emergency situations. It focuses on the experienced decision makers who deal with such risks, principally on flight decks, at civil emergencies, in industrial settings and military environments. The 29 chapters cover a wide range of perspectives and applications from aviation, military, industry and the emergency services. The authors, all international invited experts in their field, are based in research centers and universities from Europe, North America and Australia. Their common interest is in the theories and methods of a new research domain called NDM (naturalistic decision making). This volume comprises the edited contributions to the Third International NDM conference, sponsored by the US Army Research Institute and the US Naval Air Warfare Center, which was held in Aberdeen, Scotland in September 1996. The NDM researchers are interested in decision making in situations characterised by high risk, time pressure, uncertain goals, ambiguous information and teamwork. The extent to which the NDM approach can explain and predict human performance in such settings is a central theme, discussed with many practical examples and applications. This book is essential reading for applied psychologists, pilots, emergency commanders, military officers, high hazard managers, safety and emergency response professionals.

    Contents: Introduction; Theoretical Perspectives on NDM: The current status of the naturalistic decision making framework; In search of naturalistic decisions; Stress and naturalistic decision making: strengthening the weak links; Merging paradigms: decision making, management and cognitive control. Decisions in Civil Emergencies: Critical incident management simulation; A framework for building and testing models of recorded team decision making; Decision making patterns in major fire-fighting and rescue operations; Psychological research and development in the London Fire Brigade; Design of the natural: an engineering process for NDM; Head-mounted video recording: a methodology for studying NDM. Military Command Decisions: On-line coping with uncertainty: beyond the reduce, quantify and plug heuristic; Improving critical thinking; Team adaptation and co-ordination training; Dynamic decision making in non-routine situations; Surrender at Perevolochna: a case study of perspective and action control in decision making under stress; Enhancing effective decision making by information management techniques; Military decision support. Decisions on the Flight deck: Military pilot performance - dynamic decision making in its extreme; Understanding expert aviator judgment; Decision making training for aircrew; Selection for stressful jobs: is the defence mechanism test the solution?; Pilot mental workload and situational awareness - psychological models of the pilot. Analysing Decision Making Under Stress: Strategies for adapting to time pressure; Emergency decision making - a wider decision framework?; Decision making in complex situations: cognitive and motivational limitations; Differentiation and consolidation theory; Analyzing team skills; Toward an understanding of stress on organizational social systems in complex, dynamic, environments; Appendices.


    Rhona Flin is Professor of Applied Psychology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK; Eduardo Salas is Senior Research Psychologist and Head of the Training Technology Development Branch of the US Naval Air Warfare Centre Training Systems Division; Michael Strub is Chief of the US Army Research Laboratory London Research Office; Lynne Martin is at NASA Ames Research Center.

    ’This collection presents a state-of-the-art review of psychological theory, in research and practice, on decision making in high-pressure and emergency situations.’ Business Horizons, USA ’...some very practical information...exceedingly well-referenced.’ Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine