Close this search box.

brain science

Fifteen Situational Awareness Barriers

The mission of Situational Awareness Matters is to help you see the bad things coming… in time to change bad outcomes. SA is a complex neurological process and I go to painstaking efforts to ensure that what I teach here, on the podcast and in classrooms is “first responder friendly.” I don’t ever want a […]

Fifteen Situational Awareness Barriers Read More »

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

Divided Attention Test Read More »

Confabulation: It Sounds Better Than Lying

Confabulation may sound better than lying, but it’s no less dangerous. One of the most amazing demonstrations I do during my situational awareness programs is to show how a person, when placed under stress, will lie. Only in the world of neuroscience, we don’t call it lying, we call it confabulation. You won’t do it

Confabulation: It Sounds Better Than Lying Read More »

Chatty TSA Agents

It is possible that while you are attempting to pay attention to something, you can be drawn off your task by distractions or interruptions to your workload. A distraction is something that pulls your attention away by accident (like a reflex look in the direction of a loud noise). An interruption is something that pulls

Chatty TSA Agents Read More »

Anchoring Bias as a Barrier to Situational Awareness

There are over 100 cognitive biases that can impact situational awareness, and subsequently, decision making. Many of these biases are discussed during the Mental Management of Emergencies and Flawed Situational Awareness programs because it is important for responders to understand that we may possess a bias without knowing it and without knowing the impact of

Anchoring Bias as a Barrier to Situational Awareness Read More »

Meta Awareness

  Developing and maintaining situational awareness at an emergency scene can be a very challenging task. Scenes are often stressful, complex, time-compressed, and complicated with rapidly-changing conditions. Responders have lots of information to process and many tasks to perform. And, sadly, situational awareness isn’t always the forefront on their minds. Under such conditions, meta awareness

Meta Awareness Read More »

Explanations for Situational Awareness Insanity – Part 5

This is going to be, admittedly, an uncomfortable read for some. But, nonetheless it is a conversation we need to have. I need to discuss the “F” word. No, not THAT “F” word. The “F” word that is more dreaded than the F-bomb – Fear. Many first responders enjoy discussing fear as much as they

Explanations for Situational Awareness Insanity – Part 5 Read More »

You Can’t Handle the Truth!

If you have attended one of my new Mental Management of Emergencies programs you have learned how stress is a game-changer when it comes to firefighter situational awareness and decision making quality. Most basic training programs focus on developing cognitive knowledge and physical skills. Far less address the impact of stress on situational awareness and

You Can’t Handle the Truth! Read More »