Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2011 20:26:08 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Peter Zavon <pzavon**At_Symbol_Here**ROCHESTER.RR.COM>
Subject: Re: Boston College incident follow up
In-Reply-To: <8C1FF28BDDEB6048B3411BEA66988278A516B1F5A3**At_Symbol_Here**>
On Tuesday, June 28, 2011 David C. Finster said to the DCHAS-L Discussion
List in part:
> I would "second" Brad's comments about the need for training 
> and education that exposes students to simulated events and 
> that is heavily based on repetition.  Truth is:  people panic 
> when confronted with unexpected events and, in knowing this, 
> it's almost laughable that one of first "rules" we teach in a 
> panic-inducing situation is "not to panic." Yeah, right.  So, 
> I tell students to go ahead and "panic" (for a BRIEF moment!) 
> to get that out of the way and then "go back to your 
> training".  

Since panic is a visceral reaction that prevents reason and logical
thinking, it seems to me that telling people "not to panic," either in
training or at the time of a frightening event, is one of the most useless
instructional activities imaginable. Repetitive simulated practice that
other have endorsed is the way to go. That is likely to prevent panic by
reducing the novelty of the situation.

"Don't panic" as an instructional step is on a par with "Be more careful" in
counseling someone whose apparent lack of attention is thought to have
caused an "accident." Both phrases make the speaker fell better, but neither
conveys actionable guidance.

Peter Zavon, CIH
Penfield, NY


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