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Failure to Detect Critical Auditory Alerts in the Cockpit: Evidence for Inattentional Deafness

Dehais, Frédéric and Causse, Mickaël and Vachon, François and Regis, Nicolas and Menant, Eric and Tremblay, Sébastien Failure to Detect Critical Auditory Alerts in the Cockpit: Evidence for Inattentional Deafness. (2014) Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 56 (4). 631-644. ISSN 0018-7208

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0018720813510735

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to test whether inattentional deafness to critical alarms would be observed in a simulated cockpit. Background: The inability of pilots to detect unexpected changes in their auditory environment (e.g., alarms) is a major safety problem in aeronautics. In aviation, the lack of response to alarms is usually not attributed to attentional limitations, but rather to pilots choosing to ignore such warnings due to decision biases, hearing issues, or conscious risk taking. Method: Twenty-eight general aviation pilots performed two landings in a flight simulator. In one scenario an auditory alert was triggered alone, whereas in the other the auditory alert occurred while the pilots dealt with a critical windshear. Results: In the windshear scenario, 11 pilots (39.3%) did not report nor react appropriately to the alarm whereas all the pilots perceived the auditory warning in the no-windshear scenario. Also, of those pilots who were first exposed to the no-windshear scenario and detected the alarm, only three suffered from inattentional deafness in the subsequent windshear scenario. Conclusion: These findings establish inattentional deafness as a cognitive phenomenon that is critical for air safety. Pre-exposure to a critical event triggering an auditory alarm can enhance alarm detection when a similar event is encountered subsequently. Application: Case-based learning is a solution to mitigate auditory alarm misperception.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to SAGE Publications editor. The definitive version is available at http://hfs.sagepub.com/content/current. The original PDF of the article can be found at Human Factors website: http://hfs.sagepub.com/content/56/4/631
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace - ISAE-SUPAERO (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université Laval (CANADA)
Laboratory name:
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Deposited By: Frédéric Dehais
Deposited On:26 May 2014 13:52

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