NIOSHTIC-2 No. 20022944

Judgment and Decision-Making Under Stress: An Overview for Emergency Managers


Publication first page
Document cover page
Click the image to enlarge

This paper discusses human judgment and decision making under stress. The authors review selected recent literature across various disciplines and suggest a definition of stress within the context of decision making during the management of emergencies. They also discuss fieldwork by the Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, NIOSH, which explores traumatic incident stress, the relationship between previous training and performance under stressful conditions, and human behaviour in underground mine fires. The authors assert that stress is one of the factors that decision makers must contend with in most life-or-death situations. They suggest that a better understanding of individual judgment and decision making activities whilst under stress would yield a better understanding of how people reach the choices they make in emergencies. This enhanced understanding would be of enormous value to emergency managers, researchers and policymakers.

Author(s):Kowalski-KM, Vaught-C
Reference:Int J Emerg Manag 2003; 1(3):278-289

   jadmu (PDF, 711 KB)

A link above requires the Adobe Acrobat® Reader.
You can download a reader for free from Adobe through our Accessibility/Tools page.
Get Adobe Reader
Page last updated: September 17, 2008
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Mining Division