Stress effects on transfer from virtual environment flight training to stressful flight environments
McClernon, Christopher K.
McCauley, Michael E.
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The purpose of this research was to investigate the effects that stress training has on stressful flight operations to mitigate the human factors preconditions to aircraft accidents. In addition, stress training implementation strategies were investigated in order to develop pedagogy pertinent to stress training. A series of three empirical experiments were performed to test the transfer of both human emotional states and task skills from a virtual environment to subsequent test scenarios. Results indicated that stress training improved performance, decreased physiological responses to stress, and decreased subjective appraisals of stress in a simulator criterion session. A second experiment tested the generalization of these results to a novel, real-world stressor. In this study, stress training in a flight simulator was found to enhance performance and moderate the adverse effects of stress when piloting an aircraft in a stressful flight environment. A third empirical study tested the transfer of flight simulator skills to a real-world flying task. Flight simulator training improved the performance of a training group when compared to a no-training, control group. This line of research demonstrates stress training as a viable approach for preparing trainees for stressful flight environments and stress in general.
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