Divided Attention Test

In a recent Mental Management of Emergencies program, we were talking about multitasking. During the discussion I explained what happens when a person attempts to multitask the act of paying of attention – which is neurologically impossible by the way. This turned the discussion to a sobriety test administered by police officers called the Divided […]

Situational Awareness – It’s More Complex Than “Pay Better Attention”

If you want to improve your situational awareness, just pay better attention! Really? Oh my goodness.  No, it is hardly that simple. I just read an article where the author was giving advice about how to improve situational awareness. He said that situational awareness can be improve by paying better attention. At the very most […]

Episode 123 | Positive and Negative Clues and Cues

  In this episode we explore how responders use positive and negative clues and cues to develop and maintain situational awareness at emergency scenes. Length: 30 minutes click the YouTube icon to listen     _____________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking your understanding of situational awareness and high-risk decision making to a higher level, check […]

Weapons of Mass Distraction

The foundation for developing situational awareness is perception – using your senses to gather information about what is happening around you. In lay terms, we call it paying attention. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to develop strong situational awareness if you are not paying attention to what is happening around you. For better […]

Five Best Practices for Managing the Mental Workload

The research I have conducted on the neuroscience of situational awareness and high-risk decision making has been fascinating and extremely enlightening to me. Over the past 12 years, it has been very rewarding to take the lessons of research and apply them for the benefit of first responders. For those who have attended one of […]

Explaining Tunnel Vision

When it comes to developing and maintaining situational awareness, tunnel vision is a big deal. Effective situational awareness is developed from having a broad perception of the environment in which you are operating. As your focus narrows, you start to miss things. Those “missed things” are like lost puzzle pieces, leaving holes in your understanding […]

Expectations and situational awareness

The ability to develop and maintain situational awareness is a far more complex process than most people realize. I’ve had many responders say to me that as long as they are “paying attention” or “keeping their head on a swivel” or “looking up, down and all around”, they will have strong situational awareness. I truly […]

Enhancing the OODA Loop

Observe-Orient-Decide-Act (OODA) The OODA loop stands for Observe -> Orient -> Decide -> Act. And as the term loop indicates, the process is continual. The OODA model was developed by John Boyd, a military strategist and applied to fighter jet operations. Boyd developed the OODA loop model while serving as a fighter pilot in the […]

Confirmation Bias Impacts Situational Awareness

The foundation of situational awareness is capturing clues and cues in your environment – what some would call “paying attention” – and then making sense of those clues and cues – what some would call “understanding” – and then making projections of future events – what some would call “prediction.” One of the challenges in the […]

Complex Communications

We have many traits that make us uniquely human. Among them is our ability to engage in complex communications. We can look at black ink squiggled on a piece of bleached paper and derive meaning from those symbols.  We call that skill reading comprehension. And we can listen to and comprehend the meaning of more […]

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