Behavioral Influences Of Proximal Alarms
Confidence in and responses to an unreliable test alarm were studied in the presence of nearby unspecified alarms. The test alarm's reliability rate was represented as averaging "true" only 50% or 60% of the time. Confidence or response rates ranged proportionately from 23% to 97% with the number of active alarms within 5, 6, 7, or 9 annunciator arrays. Adjacent alarms resulted in confidence estimates that were higher (by about 10%) than those with the same number of active alarms spaced up to 3 positions away. Simultaneously activated alarms resulted in a more than 20% increase in "true" responses compared with the same number of alarms offset in time by up to 32 s, regardless of which came first. Active alarms "known" to be functionally related to, or independent of, the test alarm substantially raised or lowered responding but did not completely overcome prior effects. These findings indicate that presumptions that operators' responses are not influenced by nearby alarms, regardless of their function, may be unwarranted. Applications of this research include suggestions to improve responding and training recommendations.
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Gilson, Richard D.; Mouloua, Mustapha; and Graft, Amy S., "Behavioral Influences Of Proximal Alarms" (2001). Scopus Export 2000s. 439.