Effects of stress on physical and mental performance
Excessive stress levels reduce performance. Increases in over-stimulation is generally proportional to decreases in performance. Some of the typical effects that occur in stressful situations include:
Difficulty concentrating and reduced vigilance – easily distracted
Errors, omissions, mistakes, incorrect actions, poor judgment and memory
Tendency to cut corners, skip items and look for the easiest way out
Either slowness (due to lack of interest) or hyperactivity (due to adrenaline)
Focusing on easily manageable details while ignoring serious threats
Tendency to pass responsibility on to others
Fixation on single issues or even a mental block
Unwillingness to make decisions – decisions are postponed or take longer to make
Fewer plans and backup plans are made
Increase in risk-taking leading to an increase in the number of violations, especially when frustrated with failures
Excessively hurried actions – Due to adrenaline and alertness level, there is a tendency to act very quickly even when there is no time pressure. Hurried actions increase the chance of errors.
In cases of significantly high stress a flight crew member will often:
Return to old procedures that may no longer be applicable
Use non-standard phraseology (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. when communicating
Return to the use of one’s native language
Look for items in a place where they used to be but are no longer located.
There are 15 points listed here re the effects of stress.
Written Assignment :
Discuss the causes, effects, and hazards of any one of the 15 points listed above.
Also include any experience you may have had in this area (in or out of aviation).
Please write a brief 3-page paper with a least three references discussing the issue of your choice as it relates to human judgment and decision making.
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