Be vigilant; we implore the reader. Yet, vigilance requires hard mental work (Warm, Parasuraman, & Matthews, 2008). Humans have repeatedly shown evidence of poor performance relative to vigilance, especially when we are facing such factors as complex or novel data, time pressure, and information overload (Krause, 2012; Ware, 2000). For years, researchers have investigated the effect of vigilance, from the positive impact of it upon the survival of ground squirrel in Africa to its decrement resulting in the poor performance of air traffic controllers. Scholars seem to agree; fatigue has a negative bearing on vigilance. In our society, we have become increasingly fatigued, both physically and cognitively. The Society of Human Resources reported fatigue is on the rise with employees facing “time starvation” (SHRM, 2011). The National Sleep Foundation recognizes self-imposed sleep deprivation as one of the primary reasons for fatigue as people “skimp on sleep in hopes of getting more done, and widespread access to technology makes it possible to stay busy round the clock” (SHRM, 2011, p. para. 5). Our information-rich world which leads to information overload and novel data, as well as the 24/7/365 connectivity leading to time pressure, works against vigilance. However, “vigilance fatigue,” or the failure to accurately perceive, identify, or analyze bona fide threats (Roberts, 1984; Sachs 2005 as cited in Krause, 2012) can lead to serious negative consequences, even a life-threatening state of affairs.
- quantified self,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kmichael/389/