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Effects of Increasing Time Pressure on JDM

Len Adelman
Fairfax, VA

My students and I continue to study the effects of increasing time pressure on the decision making of hierarchical teams performing a dynamic task (aircraft identification), as represented by the multilevel lens model.

Our two studies obtained the following results.

1. Team members accelerated their cognitive processing in an effort to maintain correspondence constancy.

2. Time pressure nevertheless affected performance because there was a point beyond which correspondence constancy could not be maintained.

3. There were strong differences in how teams adapted to increasing time pressure, and where constancy was lost, consistent with the concepts of vicarious mediation and vicarious functioning.

4. Because of task characteristics, team leaders who chose an adaptation strategy of maintaining the number of decisions, instead of decision accuracy, performed better at high time-pressure levels.

5. Consequently, changes to the human-computer interface that supported perceptual and memory processes and, in turn, the maintenance of decision quantity, were more effective than cognitive feedback with its emphasis on maintaining decision accuracy.

6. Lens model analysis indicates that time pressure caused significant decreases in subordinates' knowledge (G) and cognitive control (Rs). (There was no decrease in the calibration of their means and standard deviations, which are the other two components of mean square error.) The decrease in G was due to both using fewer cues and weighting them less accurately. Lens model analysis of the leaders' decision-making process is ongoing.

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