Project: Teams under pressure: Dynamics of stress and information processing


Period: 2018-2022 (PhD project; BOF)

Short description

In many situations, teams of experts are made responsible to react accurately and swiftly to critical situations. For example, emergency management command-and-control teams (i.e. fire brigade, police, medical assistance, etc.) organize and coordinate the assistance at the scene of the incident. This often requires decision-making by collecting and integrating information from a variety of sources, while operating on a high-performance level in a turbulent and stressful environment. For many years, researchers have aimed to understand how teams work together in these kinds of environments and how it affects their performance. What remains mostly understudied in this line of research is the specific role that acute stress plays over time.

In this PhD project, we firstly explore how stress in teams evolves when faced with a critical situation. We aim to capture these interactions by studying individual physiological stress responses (Electrodermal activity), stress perceptions in teams, and how they interact with each other over time. Secondly, we explore how team stress will affect how teams process and behave in these environments. Thirdly, we aim to better understand how stress behavior will influence team performance over time.

Key publications