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Psychology Doctoral Dissertation Defense: Victoria Carlson

This is a past event.

Thursday, March 14 at 11:00am to 1:00pm

DM - Deuxieme Maison, 258
11200 SW 8th ST, Deuxieme Maison, Miami, Florida 33199

The Guided Emergency Messaging Tool: Structuring 911 Texting Services for Information Gain

At its core, a 911 emergency report is an efficient version of an investigative interview. There is a wealth of research on investigative interviews that has led to a variety of widely accepted, social, cognitive, and communication techniques. The current study applied these best practice techniques to a novel setting: 911 emergency text messaging. Participants were recruited from active shooter training simulations to make a 911 report as if the simulation were real. Participants’ provided anxiety ratings before being randomly assigned to a control or experimental protocol, which they completed on their cellphones during the active shooter simulation. The WH control protocol is based on current practices and seeks to establish WHere the emergency is, WHat the emergency is, and WHo is involved in the emergency. The experimental protocol, referred to as the Guided Emergency Messaging (GEM) tool used evidence-based questioning techniques. Finally, participants provided additional anxiety ratings immediately after completing their assigned protocols. The results showed that participants using the GEM tool provided more unique details throughout their 911 report than those using the WH protocol. Furthermore, GEM users provided more precise location and event details than their control protocol counterparts. Anxiety ratings provided immediately after protocol completion were significantly higher than those provided prior to the active shooter simulation. However, anxiety levels did not differ between the two protocol conditions. Participants who used the GEM tool took longer to make their 911 report than participants who used the WH protocol. These results reveal that the GEM holds promise for improving emergency reporting practices.

Major Professor: Dr. Jacqueline Evans 

Event Type

Academics, Lectures & conferences


Students, Faculty & Staff, General Public


Department of Psychology


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