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A Comparison of Decision Making Behaviour in a Static and a Dynamic Task Environment as a Function of Time Pressure (Een Vergelijking van Beslisgedrag in een Statische en een Dynamische Taakomgeving Als Functie van Tijdsdruk)

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Decision making research shows an increasing interest for time- dependent decisions. In contrast with decision making in static tasks, where, based on the available information, only one decision needs to be made, dynamic environments offer the possibility to adjust incorrect decisions through continuous feedback on the overall system state. It is therefore to be expected that the outcome performance will be better in a dynamic than in a static task environment. Previous research indicates that decision makers adjust their mental activities to the demands of the decision environment. Since dynamic environments offer the possibility for corrective actions, in contrast to static environments, it was predicted that cognitive performance would be worse in a dynamic task, on the assumption that people want to make accurate decisions with minimal mental effort. Furthermore, as it was assumed that the advantages of dynamic environments would reduce as time pressure increased, we predicted that both outcomes and cognitive performance would be more equal in dynamic and static tasks as time pressure increased. In an experiment two versions of a similar diagnosis task were used a static and a dynamic one. In the dynamic task version subjects decided in real time, and they saw a graph on a computer screen indicating the state of the system. In the static task version, subjects did not get this information and their task was to make one diagnosis per trial.

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  • Psychology
  • Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems

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