The Force Science Research Center's - News Transmission #148 - of April, 2010, has information on 2 new studies on task performance while multitasking. The study findings and comments by Bill Lewinski of the Force Science Research Center, re-affirms that some firearms instructors "Just don't get it."

In one study, the researchers found that 2.5 percent of test participants, were able pay attention to a cell phone exchange while moving through traffic, without experiencing deterioration of driving skill.

However, in 97.5% of the participants, there were significant deteriorations in task performance. As with findings of other studies: "brake reaction times are delayed, object detection is impaired, traffic-related brain potentials are suppressed, and accident rates are increased...."

In the second new study, researchers reached a conclusion on multitasking about which Bill Lewinski of the Force Science Research center expressed caution.

In the study when two tasks were engaged in, it appeared that the goal-oriented areas of both frontal lobes of the brain worked together to get the job done.

But, when a third task was introduced, "People slowed down and made many more mistakes. That suggests that the frontal lobes can't maintain more than 2 tasks."

Lewinski's thought is that laymen may interpret this to mean that a human being can in fact simultaneously focus equally on 2 demands for attention. And that is misleading conclusion which could be potentially dangerous if it builds over-confidence and over-dependence on multitasking.

What happened during the experiment, he believes, is that the brains of the participants, quickly switched back and forth from one task to another, alternately engaging the 2 frontal lobes. However, in a stressful and threatening situation, that would no longer be possible.

"It is very clear, both in terms of common sense and scientific documentation, that once something arises that captures your attention, your external focus immediately narrows down to just that 1 area. Yes, you can walk and talk at the same time, one of the most simplistic forms of multitasking. But once you trip, you can no longer carry on the conversation because your full attention is concerned with dealing with your tripping."

That is why it is so important to hone your skills to the point that most of your performance in a stressful situation is automatic, leaving the cognitive centers of your brain free to focus on factors of life-saving decision-making.

The study findings and Lewinski's comments are in line with the results of the growing amount of research and studies of the affects that the stress of real life threat situations has on shooting performance.

In light of the work of the pioneers in this field such as: Fairbairn, Sykes, Applegate, Burroughs, Grossman, Siddle, Morrison, Baron De Berenger of circa 1835, and others, it is crystal clear that many if not most police and civilian firearms instructors "Just don't get it."

What they continue to do, is train police, soldiers, and civilians to use shooting methods, which rely on multitasking and cognitive thinking for effective performance. And those methods, according to both past and new studies, just don't work in real close quarters life threat situations.

The sad result of the long standing acceptance of, and the widespread teaching of traditional marksmanship skills for use in close quarters life threat shooting situations, is the abysmal hit rate that hovers around 20%.

I know of no other profession where "on the job" task performance results of around 20%, is considered to be satisfactory and/or OK.

The steadfast refusal of police, military, and civilian trainers to take their heads out of the sand, and to recognize the hit rate elephant which has been standing in the middle of the room for years and years, is to my way of thinking bizarre.

If they did, only a few small steps would be needed to modify what is being taught to enhance the shooting effectiveness of their charges. The ground work has been done by the pioneers mentioned above, and it can serve as the basis for needed change.

That some of the stuck-in-a rut professionals, who cling to what they know and what they have been taught, are quick and ready to strike out against upstarts, proves the point that what they teach is close to if not a fraud.

For it would be easy for those consummate gun professionals to try and fairly debunk Point Shooting and AIMED Point Shooting alike. But, but one does not read about their having tried this or that PS method, and found it wanting for this or that reason.

What their lack of initiative and adherence to the dogma of the past has resulted in, is a hit rate that is a disaster.

If you think fraud is to strong of a word, where are the public available studies that show that traditional Sight Reliant Shooting is actually used in CQB situations?

Thousands and thousands of police have been shot and wounded and killed over the years.

Has anyone thought to mine that extensive source of combat data for information and insights as to what works and what doesn't? And make it commonly available to the millions of citizens who have a handgun for self defense use.

Past studies like the NYPD's SOP 9 and the literature say that the Sight Shooting is not or can not be used in most all CQ combat situations.

Training shooters to use Sight Shooting which is known to fail when lives are at risk at close quarters, meets the dictionary definition or fraud: deceit or trickery perpetuated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage; or something that is not what it pretends.

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