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Effect of 45-day simulated microgravity on the evaluation of orally reported emergencies

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Accurate evaluation of emergencies is a critical concern in long-duration space flights. Accordingly, we studied the effect of 45 days of − 6° head-down bed rest – a model that simulates the conditions in microgravity environments – on the evaluation of orally reported emergencies. Sixteen male participants listened to corresponding emergency scenarios and assessed the severity of these situations eight times before, during and after bed rest. The results revealed a ‘ recency effect’: compared with emergency descriptions in the order of serious to mild, those framed in the reverse order were judged to be more serious. However, the severity ratings did not vary with time spent in the simulated microgravity environment. These findings are similar to those observed in a regular environment on Earth, indicating that the design principles of information presentation for situations on Earth may also be extended to designs intended for outer space.

Practitioner Summary: A recency effect was found in the evaluation of orally reported emergencies under simulated microgravity conditions. The design principles of information presentation for situations on Earth may also be extended to designs intended for outer space.
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Keywords: bed rest; emergency; evaluation; primacy effect; recency effect

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, P.R. China 2: China Astronaut Research and Training Center, Beijing, 100094, P.R. China

Publication date: August 1, 2013

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