Can reduced processing decision support interfaces improve the decision-making of less-experienced incident commanders?

Nathan C. Perry*, Mark W. Wiggins, Merilyn Childs, Gerard Fogarty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Computer-based decision support systems have been proposed as a tool to improve the decision-making of less-experienced personnel by reducing the information processing demands necessary for decision-making. This study investigated the utility of three decision support system interfaces that differed in their capacity for reduced processing. The participants comprised experienced and less-experienced Fireground Incident Commanders who used the decision support system interfaces to identify the most appropriate entry point to extract a victim from a simulated burning building. The results revealed that reduced processing interfaces enabled less-experienced participants to acquire information using a process equivalent to their more experienced counterparts. However, this process did not result in improvements in the accuracy of the decision-making process. Indeed, the accuracy of experienced participants' decisions was consistently greater than the less-experienced participants, irrespective of the decision support system interface. It was concluded that the success of reduced processing decision support systems amongst less-experienced operators is significantly dependent upon their understanding of the relative value of key features associated with the decision-making process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-504
Number of pages8
JournalDecision Support Systems
Volume52
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

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