Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

Innovative and Immersive Crisis Management Training Device

Justin Larouzéea, Aurélien Portellib, Eric Rigaudc, Didier Delaitred, Sébastien Travadele and Franck Guarnierif

Centre de recherche sur les Risques & les Crises (CRC), Mines Paris - PSL. France.


Accidents such as Fukushima Daiichi demonstrates the limits of crisis management training. During a crisis, decision-makers may rely on their experience or the application procedures, but they often need creative skills. Indeed, a crisis is characterized by incomplete or contradictory information, changing goals, and time pressure. Thus, decision-makers must find solutions in an emotional context of stress and fatigue. Traditional crisis management training relies on return of experience and the drill procedures in pre-identified scenarios (theoretically explained or in serious games). This have contributed to reinforcing organizational response but it's not adapted to develop creativity. To do so, we designed and tested an immersive training device to disrupt learners' cognition, making them aware of the importance of their senses, emotions, and representations in the decision-making process. During the session, learners must make decisions based on what surrounds them. Before exiting the room, they must evaluate their performance (which is impossible since the sequence is designed to be meaningless). The debriefing showed how difficult it was for the learners to admit the absurdness of the exercise, as revealed by the strength and ingenuity of their rationalization mechanisms. Our ambition was to complement theoretical lessons. However, first results have inspired a 3-5-year research program to study the articulation between lived experience, feelings, memory, and self-narrative in the face of a crisis.

Keywords: Crisis management, Immersive training, Emotions, Self-narrative.

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