How to Improve Decision Making and Acting Under Stress: The Effect of Training with and without Stress on Self-Defense Skills in Police Officers

Laura Voigt, Christoph Zinner

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungBegutachtung


Pressure training (PT) has been shown to counteract performance declines in either a decision-making or a motor task under stress, when the practiced skills were tested in the same task and under the same stressors employed in training. This study tested whether PT also improved performance in a skill that requires both cognitive and motor adaptations to a changing environment. Using a pretest-intervention-posttest design, 84 police officers trained knife-defense skills in various exercises without (control group, n = 33) or with stressors (experimental group, n = 51). Officers’ performance was assessed on several variables in reality-based scenarios before and after training by three independent police trainers using video analyses. Although the experimental group reported more stress and mental effort during the training interventions than the control group, both the experimental and control group improved in all performance variables after training (all p
ZeitschriftJournal of Police and Criminal Psychology
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 25.08.2023

Fachgebiete und Schlagwörter

  • Attentional control theory
  • Law enforcement training
  • Perceptual-motor performance
  • Performance under pressure
  • Pressure training
  • Representative practice