Decision Making in a Dynamic Situation: The Effect of Time Restrictions and Uncertainty (Beslisgedrag in een Dynamische Situatie: Het Effect van Tijdsdruk en Onzekerheid)
HUMAN FACTORS RESEARCH INST TNO SOESTERBERG (NETHERLANDS)
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Information processing in dynamic situations can be distinguished on a number of dimensions from decision making in the normally used static task environments. First, because the environment changes, time is an inherent dimension of the decision making process. Second, strategies can be used that benefit from feedback. Third, time pressure can be defined from the evolving situation itself rather than by some external criterion. Results from previous experiments suggested that even though subjects speeded up information processing, they did not reserve a sufficient amount of time for diagnosis in fast changing task conditions. In the present experiment we investigated whether a priori probability of false alarms and predictability of recovery level, in the case of a false alarm, could account for this finding. Subjects were required to monitor the fitness level of an athlete, who was running a race, and to provide treatments whenever necessary. Time horizon was manipulated by the rate at which the athletes fitness level declined. When the a priori probability of false alarms increased, subjects started their diagnosis process at a later point in time, they were slower in processing the information, and their performance decreased. None of these effects were found for the predictability of the athletes recovery level. Decision making, Human performance, Time.