chapter  12
24 Pages

System Operator Response to Warnings of Danger

There are many instances in which system operators tend to respond slowly or not at all to warnings of danger and some instances in which the operators disable the warning devices. A primary reason is that the warnings have “cried wolf” too often to be credible (e.g., Sorkin, 1988). Moreover, the penalties of leaving the operational task to respond to false alarms may be considerable; thus, for exam­ ple, the Federal Aviation Administration not long ago ordered a shutdown of collision-warning devices on commercial airliners because of serious distractions they presented both to pilots and air traffic controllers.