Stress-induced cortisol secretion impairs detection performance in x-ray baggage screening for hidden weapons by screening novices

Thomas, Livia; Schwaniger, Adrian; Heimgartner, Nadja; Hedinger, Patrik; Hofer, Franziska; Ehlert, Ulrike; Wirtz, Petra Hedwig (2014). Stress-induced cortisol secretion impairs detection performance in x-ray baggage screening for hidden weapons by screening novices. Psychophysiology, 51(9), pp. 912-920. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/psyp.12229

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Aviation security strongly depends on screeners' performance in the detection of threat objects in x-ray images of passenger bags. We examined for the first time the effects of stress and stress-induced cortisol increases on detection performance of hidden weapons in an x-ray baggage screening task. We randomly assigned 48 participants either to a stress or a nonstress group. The stress group was exposed to a standardized psychosocial stress test (TSST). Before and after stress/nonstress, participants had to detect threat objects in a computer-based object recognition test (X-ray ORT). We repeatedly measured salivary cortisol and X-ray ORT performance before and after stress/nonstress. Cortisol increases in reaction to psychosocial stress induction but not to nonstress independently impaired x-ray detection performance. Our results suggest that stress-induced cortisol increases at peak reactivity impair x-ray screening performance.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Thomas, Livia and Wirtz, Petra Hedwig

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0048-5772

Publisher:

Wiley-Blackwell

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation
[UNSPECIFIED] University of Zurich
[UNSPECIFIED] European Commission Leonardo da Vinci Programme

Language:

English

Submitter:

Adriana Biaggi

Date Deposited:

22 Apr 2015 14:53

Last Modified:

20 Oct 2015 09:56

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/psyp.12229

Uncontrolled Keywords:

X-ray baggage screening, Cortisol, Stress, TSST, X-ray ORT, Airport security, Human factors, Detection performance

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.67780

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/67780

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