Exploring Suspension of Disbelief During Simulation-Based Learning
© 2016 International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning Rooted in aviation and used consistently in the training and preparation of health care professionals for decades, simulation is an innovative teaching strategy that facilitates experiential learning in a safe learning environment. Effective simulation hinges on the ability of the learner to suspend disbelief. Participants must accept the otherwise unrealistic aspects of clinical simulation, and yet the concept of suspension of disbelief has not been fully explored in the field of nursing. What allows some simulation participants to fully believe or immerse themselves in simulation while others struggle to “pretend”? What are the determinants of a participants' ability to suspend disbelief during simulation-based learning activities? Factors that contribute to the learner's ability to suspend disbelief include fidelity, psychological safety, emotional buy-in, the fiction contract, and how learners assign meaning. Various other factors that enable or impede one's ability to immerse in simulation are considered yet need further exploration.
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