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Time’s up, what are you going to do?


Making decisions under time constraints in a rapidly changing environment pretty well sums up the job of a board operator in process plants. How can this decision-making be improved?

Recent research has implications for both the selection and training of board operators. It was hypothesized that training operators to make decisions under time constraints should make the performance under time constraints better. This was ultimately proved to be untrue (Gonzalez, C. “Learning to Make Decisions in Dynamic Environments: Effects of Time Constraints and Cognitive Abilities.” Human Factors, Vol 46, #3, 2004).

What the author found was that performance was better when the training had not been done under time constraints, particularly for individuals who scored lower on a test that measures key decision-making capability. The author notes that there is a strong interaction between time constraints and cognitive abilities, theorizing that “more lengthy trials and availability of cognitive abilities helped individuals acquire more complex and useful knowledge that they were subsequently able to use.”

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For further information, visit the links below.

| Alarm & Display System Analysis Overview | Alarm Management | Display Design | Alarm & Display Design Seminar | Beville Shape Calculator -Excel download | Alarm Distribution Estimator -Excel download |


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This year's Fall meeting for the Center for Operator Performance will be October 7-10 in Houston, TX. For more information, please contact Lisa Via. Guests are always welcome!


Our summer newsletter is now available. Click here!

Take our short survey on operator span of control. Click here (new window)

David Strobhar's book, "Human Factors in Process Plant Operation," is now available in both hardcover and Kindle e-book.

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