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Error risk in the decision making process

Pier Luigi Baldi
  • Pier Luigi Baldi
    Department of Psychology, University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy |


This research starts from the assumption, widely observed in literature, that stress and distraction involve risks of error, especially in high-density decision-making work situations, including Urgent Care-Emergency Depart - ments. Three groups of undergraduates, 20 subjects each, were given fifteen multiplechoice logical questions: one group worked under stress; the second group worked under stress and was distracted twice; the third group worked under conditions that were neither stressful nor disturbing. The highest number of correct answers was generally scored by those working under quiet conditions. The group who worked under stress and was disturbed twice scored a greater number of correct answers than the group working under stress. For exploratory purposes, eight undergraduates were exposed to a condition of attentional disturbance for the entire duration of the test; they registered a significant lengthening of response times and a significant negative effect on their performance.


decision-making, error risk, emergency department

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Submitted: 2013-11-18 15:14:36
Published: 2014-05-08 14:23:53
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