Vigilance: a Symposium

Vigilance: a Symposium

Vigilance: a Symposium

Vigilance: a Symposium

Excerpt

"I didn't see the signal." An engineer gave this explanation to police for a train wreck that cost 63 lives. Why do people fail to detect important signals? Under what circumstances do they fail to detect them? What can we do to ensure that they will detect them? These were the topics of the symposium on vigilance whose proceedings make up this book.

Vigilance has been described in several ways: as performance on monitoring tasks, as attention over extended periods of time, as a state of the organism--a readiness to respond to infrequent, low-intensity signals occurring at unpredictable temporal intervals.

Vigilant behavior is required for successful performance in a variety of situations and jobs. It can safely be said that our defense against all-out nuclear attack depends ultimately upon the vigilance of the men observing the displays in our early-warning stations throughout the world. It depends upon the skill of our radar and sonar operators and image interpreters in detecting infrequent, low-intensity signals or stimuli whose time of occurrence is unpredictable. Vigilant performance is required in industry--in monitoring the displays of automated industrial systems, in detecting unacceptable units coming off an assembly line, in proofreading a manuscript. It is required in operating vehicles--automobiles, ships, aircraft, even spacecraft. To perform successfully, operators must be alert for indications of malfunctions, changes in operating states, and relevant stimuli in the operating environment.

The increased sophistication of electromechanical systems in modern society tends to reduce man's role as an operator and to increase his role as a monitor. It tends to emphasize the importance of vigilant behavior and the importance of our understanding more about it.

During the past ten years, the pace of research on vigilance has acceler-

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.