Accession Number:

ADA133602

Title:

Rate of Initial Recovery and Subsequent Radar Monitoring Performance Following a Simulated Emergency Involving Startle

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION OKLAHOMA CITY OK CIVIL AEROMEDICAL INST

Report Date:

1983-09-01

Pagination or Media Count:

22.0

Abstract:

The present study employed auditory startle to simulate the principal components unexpectedness, fear, and physiological arousal that are common to many types of sudden emergencies and compared performance recovery following startle with recovery following a nonstartling stimulus. The subjects primary task was to monitor a simulated air traffic control radar display. Performance recovery following the emergency a radar failure signaled by either a loud or low level noise was assessed in terms of response time and error rate on a secondary information processing serial reaction task and also in terms of subsequent performance on the radar monitoring task. Although the high intensity noise was clearly startling, while subjects exposed to the lower intensity noise showed only a surprise reaction, subsequent performance of the two noise exposure groups differed significantly in only two respects The variance of initial response times was greater in the startled group, and this group had a higher frequency of incorrect responses on the serial reaction task during the first minute following stimulation. A comparison of these findings with those of other studies of simulated emergencies suggests that recovery time for simple perceptual-motor responses during the initial shock phase of an emergency is quite rapid on the order of 1 to 3 s, and this appears to be independent of whether or not the emergency is startling and emotionally arousing or simply surprising and unexpected. If the shock phase evokes heightened emotional- physiological arousal as in the case of startle, information-processing ability may be impaired for approximately 30 to 60 s following the stimulus event.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Air Navigation and Guidance

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE