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Goal-oriented training affects decision-making processes in virtual and simulated fire and rescue environments

Cohen-Hatton, Sabrina R. and Honey, R .C. ORCID: 2015. Goal-oriented training affects decision-making processes in virtual and simulated fire and rescue environments. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied 21 (4) , pp. 395-406. 10.1037/xap0000061

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Decisions made by operational commanders at emergency incidents have been characterized as involving a period of information gathering followed by courses of action that are often generated without explicit plan formulation. We examined the efficacy of goal-oriented training in engendering explicit planning that would enable better communication at emergency incidents. While standard training mirrored current operational guidance, goal-oriented training incorporated “decision controls” that highlighted the importance of evaluating goals, anticipated consequences, and risk/benefit analyses once a potential course of action has been identified. In Experiment 1, 3 scenarios (a house fire, road traffic collision, and skip fire) were presented in a virtual environment, and in Experiment 2 they were recreated on the fireground. In Experiment 3, the house fire was recreated as a “live burn,” and incident commanders and their crews responded to this scenario as an emergency incident. In all experiments, groups given standard training showed the reported tendency to move directly from information gathering to action, whereas those given goal-oriented training were more likely to develop explicit plans and show anticipatory situational awareness. These results indicate that training can be readily modified to promote explicit plan formulation that could facilitate plan sharing between incident commanders and their teams.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the CC-BY license.
Publisher: American Psychological Association
ISSN: 1076-898X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 12 August 2015
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 08:05

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