Problem Solving in the Security Context

  • Chwee Beng Lee
  • Jimmie Leppink


Cognitive load theory (Chap.   2 of this book) and related theories provide general principles of instructional design (Chap.   11 of this book) that are applicable to a wide variety of learning contexts. However, each context is unique, and learning has to be contextualised by taking into consideration the characteristics of that particular context. Without a clear understanding of the demands and requirements and the cognitive processes involved in functioning effectively and efficiently in a particular context, instructional design can be counterproductive. This is especially true where ineffective instruction may lead to catastrophic consequences. Core characteristics of high-stakes contexts are high risk, high impact decision making and – in not so few cases – constraining factors such as limited logistic or financial resources and other organisational issues. High-stakes environments inevitably include security contexts such as the police force, the military, border security, counter terrorism, emergence medicine and the like. This chapter discusses the security context, more specifically the police and military force context, and how experienced problem-solvers and experts in such a context make decisions and what implications of that decision making for instruction.


  1. Ando, S., Kida, N., & Oda, S. (2002). Practice effects on reaction time for peripheral and central visual fields. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 95, 747–751. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boulton, L., & Cole, J. (2016). Adaptive flexibility: Examining the role of expertise in the decision making of firearms officers during armed confrontation. Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making, 10, 291–308. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bratton-Jeffery, M., & Jeffery, A. (2012). Instructional design opportunities in military education and training environment. In R. Reiser & J. Dempsey (Eds.), Trends and issues in instructional deign and technology (pp. 187–196). Boston: Pearson.Google Scholar
  4. Crego, J., & Harris, C. (2002). Training decision-making by team based simulation. In R. Flin & K. Arbuthnot (Eds.), Incident command: Tales from the hot seat (pp. 266–267). Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  5. Endsley, M. R., & Jones, W. M. (1997). Situation awareness, information dominance, and information warfare (AL/CF-TR-1997-0156). Wright-Patterson AFB, OH: United States Air Force Armstrong Laboratory.Google Scholar
  6. Flin, R., Pender, Z., Wujec, L., Grant, V., & Stewart, E. (2007). Police officers’ assessment of operational situations. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 30, 310–323. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gagne, R. (1987). Instructional technology foundations. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  8. Gagne, R., & Driscoll, M. (1988). Essentials of learning for instruction (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  9. Glaser, R., & Chi, M. T. H. (1988). Overview. In M. T. H. Chi, R. Glaser, & M. J. Farr (Eds.), The nature of expertise (pp. xv–xxviii). Hillsdale, MI: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  10. Grier, R. (2012). Military cognitive readiness at the operational and strategic levels: A theoretical model for measurement development. Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making, 6(4), 358–392. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Harenčárová, H. (2017). Managing uncertainty in paramedics’ decision making. Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making, 11, 42–62. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kane, R. J. (2000). Police responses to restraining orders in domestic violence incidents: Identifying the custody-threshold thesis. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 27, 561–580. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kavanagh, E. L. (2006). A cognitive model of firearms policing. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 21, 25–36. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Klein, G. (2008). Naturalistic decision making. Human Factors, 50, 456–460. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Klein, G. (2009). Streetlights and shadows: Searching for the keys to adaptive decision making. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  16. Klein, G., Calderwood, R., & Clinton-Cirocco, A. (2010). Rapid decision making on the ground: The original study plus a postscript. Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making, 4, 186–209. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Klein, G. A., & Hoffman, R. R. (1993). Seeing the invisible: Perceptual/cognitive aspects of expertise. In M. Rabinowitz (Ed.), Cognitive science foundations of instruction (pp. 203–226). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  18. Kozlowski, S. W. J., & DeShon, R. P. (2004). A psychological fidelity approach to simulation-based training: Theory, research, and principles. In E. Salas, L. R. Elliott, S. G. Schflett, & M. D. Coovert (Eds.), Scaled worlds: Development, validation, and applications (pp. 75–99). Burlington, VT: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  19. Krulak, C. C. (1999). The strategic corporal: Leadership in the three block war. Marine Corps Gazette, 83, 18–22.Google Scholar
  20. Lipshitz, R., & Shaul, O. B. (1997). Schemata and mental models in recognition-primed decision making. In C. E. Zsambok & G. Klein (Eds.), Expertise: Research and applications. Naturalistic decision making (pp. 293–303). Hillsdale, MI: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  21. Mercier, E. M., & Higgins, S. E. (2013). Collaborative learning with multi-touch technology: Developing adaptive expertise. Learning and Instruction, 25, 13–23. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Merrill, M. D. (1994). Instructional design theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.Google Scholar
  23. Reigeluth, C. (1992). Elaborating the elaboration theory. Educational Technology Research & Development, 40, 80–86. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Seiler, S., Fischer, A., & Voegtli, S. (2011). Developing moral decision making competence: A quasi-experimental intervention study in the Swiss Armed Forces. Ethics & Behavior, 21, 452–470. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sohn, Y. W., & Doane, S. M. (2004). Memory processes of flight situation awareness: Interactive working memory capacity, long-term working memory, and expertise. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 46, 461–475. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sweller, J., Ayres, P., & Kalyuga, S. (2011). Cognitive load theory. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Trujillo, M., & Ross, S. (2008). Police response to domestic violence: Making decisions about risk and risk management. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 23, 454–473. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Verschaffel, L., Luwel, K., Torbeyns, J., & Van Dooren, W. (2009). Conceptualizing, investigating, and enhancing adaptive expertise in elementary mathematics education. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 24, 335–359. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Williams, J. J., & Westall, D. (2003). SWAT and non-SWAT police officers and the use of force. Journal of Criminal Justice, 31, 469–474. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chwee Beng Lee
    • 1
  • Jimmie Leppink
    • 2
  1. 1.Western Sydney UniversityPenrithAustralia
  2. 2.Maastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations