There is emerging evidence that emotional states can influence human decision making under uncertainty. However, it remains unclear if and how emotions influence people' ability to recognize hazards, assess safety risk, and make decisions within an occupational safety context. Literature from construction safety, risk perception, and decision science domains was leveraged to create a conceptual model on the influence of incidental and integral emotions on hazard identification, risk assessment, and decision-making skills. The model was then tested via controlled laboratory experiment where participants (N ¼ 73) were placed in a high-fidelity augmented virtual construction environment. A mixed-model analyses revealed that contextually relevant emotional responses to the construction hazards modulated subsequent valuations of risk associated and ultimate safety decisions. However, no direct relationship was found between induced emotional states and hazard-identification performance. These results also provide preliminary evidence that emotions, not objective evaluations, may be the primary driver of safety-related decision making. The importance of these findings as they relate to improving safety training programs and well-being of the workforce is detailed in this paper.
Situational awareness concept has been long used in aviation and medical fields to understand and improve an individual's ability to interact and comprehend complex dynamic environments. This study attempts to empirically test situational awareness model proposed by Endsley within construction domain. Specifically, we will test how different levels of situational awareness interact with each other and how they interact with decisions. To achieve this goal, a controlled experiment was designed and conducted where the investigators (1) induced positive, negative, or neutral emotions in 66 subjects; (2) exposed participants to construction hazards within a high fidelity virtual environment; and (3) measured participant's hazard recognition skills, their understanding of those hazards, severity assessment, and subsequent decisions. The results revealed there is moderate positive correlation among each level of situational awareness. Linear mixed-effects model analysis revealed that the three levels of SA positively predicted each other. Also, the analysis revealed that there were differences in the degree of influence from each level of situational awareness on the final decision of an individual.
Every safety meeting and training program is built upon the assumption that construction workers can identify hazards. However, recent research has shown that may not be true because construction workers and managers lack basic hazard recognition skills. Currently, there is relatively little understanding of the factors impacting hazard recognition skill. Based upon the recent discovery that emotional state impacts risk perception, this study examines, the connection between emotion and hazard recognition. Using a longitudinal A+B experiment, this study measured the extent to which variability in emotional state predicts variability in hazard recognition skill and subsequent safety decisions. Autobiographical recall was used to induce and measure emotional state in 45 subjects. Subjects were asked to complete hazard identification and risk perception test before and after the induction. The emotional induction produced significant changes in desired emotions and the results showed that subjects induced with positive emotions showed a statistically significant decrease in hazard identification skills.