A flight simulator study of the impairment effects of startle on pilots during unexpected critical events

Martin, Wayne L. and Murray, Patrick S. and Bates, Paul R. and Lee, Paul S. Y. (2016) A flight simulator study of the impairment effects of startle on pilots during unexpected critical events. Aviation Psychology and Applied Human Factors, 6. pp. 24-32. ISSN 2192-0923


Recent aircraft accidents have implicated startle as contributory, or directly causal, in situation outcome. The startle reflex is a ubiquitous response to surprising stimuli, which results in aversive movement and attentional orienting. Fear-potentiated startle, where a startling stimulus is experienced in the presence of conditions which are appraised as harmful or threatening, has the effect of initiating and exacerbating the stress response, particularly where threat persists, such as during an aircraft emergency. The deleterious effects of this stress response on cognitive function are discussed. Results from startle research in a B737 flight simulator showed considerable cognitive impairment in approximately one third of participants.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published online 03 May 2016. Permanent restricted access to ArticleFirst version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Commerce
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2016 04:04
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2017 03:07
Uncontrolled Keywords: startle; simulator study; surprise
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1799 Other Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 179999 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1027/2192-0923/a000092
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/28501

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