It is well established how fallible human decision-making is, even when conditions are favourable.
So, under the pressure of time and resource constraints, fatigue and ethical complexity it is expected that judgement becomes difficult.
Military and police studies have demonstrated how cognitive processing, complex motor skills, visual and audio perception begin to deteriorate once the heart rate passes 145 bpm.
Other factors we need to factor-in with pressurised, high stakes decision-making are:
- A drop in judgement quality and productivity when we attempt to multi-task
- Serotonin imbalance (whether through hunger, fatigue or natural light deprivation) has been linked to rushed and less considered decisions
- The Systems 1 and 2 cognitive model put forward by Kahneman and Tversky illustrates how pressure can make us more instinctive in our judgements, which in turn can mean greater susceptibility to unconscious biases
- Managers who are self-isolating may need to be conscious of the potentially distorting effects on perception and judgement when we habitually make decisions in isolation
And finally, but perhaps most significant for health and social care managers, in the current context there is a high probability of dilemmas where personal values and available options are in conflict.