Effects of Real-time Imaging on Decision-Making in a Simulated Incident Command Task

Effects of Real-time Imaging on Decision-Making in a Simulated Incident Command Task

J. McGuirl (The Ohio State University, USA), N. Sarter (University of Michigan, USA) and D. Woods (The Ohio State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/jiscrm.2009010105
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Abstract

Eight Incident Commanders (ICs) took part in a simulation exercise to determine the impact of real-time imaging feedback on situation assessment and decision-making in an uncertain and high-tempo environment. The imaging feedback simulated the video feed from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that allows incident command centers to monitor developments at the crisis site. Nearly all of the ICs failed to detect important changes in the situation that were not captured in the imaging but that were available via other, more traditional data sources. It appears that the ICs placed an inappropriately high level of trust in the imaging data, resulting in a narrowing of their data search activities and limited cross-checking between the data sources being used. This research helps anticipate and guard against undesirable effects of introducing similar technologies on training and operational procedures in a variety of domains.

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