A psychologist and researcher from the University of Geneva has developed a virtual reality tool that allows police officers to train the moment of decision-making in the tense situations they may encounter on a daily basis.
Psychologist at the Psychological Department of the Geneva Police and researcher at the University of Geneva, Seollan Bouchoucha, studies the crucial moment of decision-making for police officers under pressure. The tool I created allows police officers to train in these situations, which is difficult to do in the field.
“The moment of decision making is crucial in a worker’s daily life. It does not happen all at once: it is the accumulation of options and elements in a context. Suddenly, it is very interesting and important to understand how it is constructed,” the researcher explained at 12:45 pm Tuesday.
Make mistakes without consequences
Thanks to virtual reality, the police are put in a position. “It allows a person to easily immerse themselves in an environment that we can create from scratch. We can change the main characters, the number of people present, the brightness …”, Séolane Bouchoucha details.
When we fear making a mistake, we ultimately never test what will happen by making the wrong choice.
Using this technology also enables testing without risk, by allowing mistakes that could have consequences in real situations. “When we fear making a mistake, in the end we never test what might happen by making a choice that is not the right one,” continues the psychiatrist, whose tool allows the police to relieve a little bit of the burden of responsibility they so severely submit.
Virtual reality can also make it possible to combat racial or gender stereotypes. “When we are feeling stressed, we tend to think as quickly and simply as possible. This is where all the stereotypes, cognitive biases and judgment biases appear,” says Seollan Bouchoucha. “Having the opportunity to train will reinforce the fact that we adopt the right behaviors when we are in stressful situations.”
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