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Team Decision Making Under Time Pressure

Len Adelman George Mason University E-mail: ladelman@gmu.edu

My students and I continued to perform research on the effect of time pressure on decision making for a simulated team, air defense task. Without going into the details, we found the reward structure to be much more effective than interface features in maintaining high levels of decision accuracy under high levels of time pressure. The cost for maintaining accuracy was that operators made fewer decisions and sent less information. These results, combined with our previous research, suggest that, depending on the team decision making task and support environment, (1) there is a time pressure level beyond which operators can not maintain both decision accuracy and quantity, and (2) if one wants to maintain accuracy, the reward structure and not the interface, may be the more effective mechanism for doing so. (By the way, a more technically detailed and expanded version of our Brunswik book chapter should appear in Acta Psychologica later this year. In addition, we published a paper in the March/April issue of IEEE Internet Computing describing an experiment showing that an actual website with alternative comparison features led people to use significantly more compensatory than non-compensatory decision strategies, while a site without such features did the opposite.)

The Role of Contextual Factors in Repeated Judgements: Implications for Workplace Learning

James Athanasou Faculty of Education University of Technology, Sydney Jim.Athanasou@uts.edu.au

The purpose of this research is to test a new theory of learning proposed by Halliday and Hager (2002), who set out a relationship between context, judgement and learning (see Figure 1 for my representation of their ideas).

They saw learning as concerned with judgements that are potentially fallible but also contextually sensistive. Their approach was based on philosophical foundations and was not intended to provide a testable model. The objective of this research is to focus on the context aspects of the Hager-Halliday theory and the initial key research questions for this study are:

  • To which aspects of a complex situation do people respond when they are learning?

  • Can we model their construction of the situation?

The broader aim of this study is to lay the empirical foundations for a wider program of research that will focus on the antecedents, processes and consequences associated with workplace learning.



Explicit factors in a situation – features that all learners recognise


External (e.g., rewards)

goods extrinsic

Implicit factors in a situation – assumptions taken for granted and which may be problematic

Repeated judgements

Internal goods (e.g., intrinsic rewards)




Figure 1. The Hager-Halliday approach expressed as a Perceptual-Judgemental-Reinforcement model of learning (note that the model is recursive)

Newsletter 2002 page 4 of 28

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