Generalized "satisfaction of search": adverse influences on dual-target search accuracy.
The successful detection of a target in a radiological search can reduce the detectability of a second target, a phenomenon termed satisfaction of search (SOS). Given the potential consequences, here we investigate the generality of SOS with the goal of simultaneously informing radiology, cognitive psychology, and nonmedical searches such as airport luggage screening. Ten experiments utilizing nonmedical searches and untrained searchers suggest that SOS is affected by a diverse array of factors, including (1) the relative frequency of different target types, (2) external pressures (reward and time), and (3) expectations about the number of targets present. Collectively, these experiments indicate that SOS arises when searchers have a biased expectation about the low likelihood of specific targets or events, and when they are under pressure to perform efficiently. This first demonstration of SOS outside of radiology implicates a general heuristic applicable to many kinds of searches. In an example like airport luggage screening, the current data suggest that the detection of an easy-to-spot target (e.g., a water bottle) might reduce detection of a hard-to-spot target (e.g., a box cutter).
Fleck, MS; Samei, E; Mitroff, SR
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