Police performing and training under pressure
SourceCognitive Processing, 10, (2009), pp. S145-S146
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI AO
SubjectWork, Health and Performance
In this presentation, we will present our work with police officers. First, Oudejans (2008) found that reality based practice under pressure helps in preventing degradation of handgun shooting performance under pressure for police officers. The experimental group practiced handgun shooting under pressure evoked by an opponent who fired back using marking (coloured soap) cartridges. The control group practiced shooting on standard cardboard targets. While at the outset both groups performed worse in front of an opponent firing back compared to cardboard targets, after training, shooting performance of the experimental group no longer deteriorated while performance of the control group was still equally harmed. These results indicate that training under pressure can acclimatize shooting performance of police officers to those highpressure situations they may encounter during their work. Yet, this study does not provide insights into more detailed changes in behaviour that accompany or underlie changes in performance. Therefore, in a next (pilot) study we explored changes in shooting accuracy, movement times, head/body orientation, blink and gaze behavior of police officers shooting under pressure. Results again showed that with pressure, shooting accuracy decreased. Furthermore, participants acted faster, had a different head/body orientation, made more blinks, and seemed to have higher search rates and decreased durations of fixations on the targets. The pilot study is currently followed-up by a training study investigating the effects of training under pressure on the same variables. It is expected that the negative changes that were found under pressure will disappear.
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