Can reduced processing decision support interfaces improve the decision-making of less-experienced incident commanders?

Perry, Nathan C. and Wiggins, Mark W. and Childs, Merilyn and Fogarty, Gerard (2012) Can reduced processing decision support interfaces improve the decision-making of less-experienced incident commanders? Decision Support Systems, 52 (2). pp. 497-504. ISSN 0167-9236


Computer-based decision support systems have been proposed as a tool to improve the decision-making of less-experienced personnel by reducing the information processing demands necessary for decision making. This study investigated the utility of three decision support system interfaces that differed in their capacity for reduced processing. The participants comprised experienced and less-experienced Fireground Incident Commanders who used the decision support system interfaces to identify the most appropriate entry point to extract a victim from a simulated burning building. The results revealed that reduced processing interfaces enabled less-experienced participants to acquire information using a process equivalent to their more experienced counterparts. However, this process did not result in improvements in the accuracy
of the decision-making process. Indeed, the accuracy of experienced participants' decisions was consistently
greater than the less-experienced participants, irrespective of the decision support system interface. It was concluded that the success of reduced processing decision support systems amongst less-experienced operators
is significantly dependent upon their understanding of the relative value of key features associated with the decision-making process.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version, due to publisher's copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2012 11:13
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2014 03:26
Uncontrolled Keywords: decision support systems; fire fighting; decision-making; expert vs novice; cognitive load; expertise; experience; incident command
Fields of Research : 08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0806 Information Systems > 080605 Decision Support and Group Support Systems
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1702 Cognitive Sciences > 170202 Decision Making
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150310 Organisation and Management Theory
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.dss.2011.10.010

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