A danger of too many warnings in too short a period of time is overload of the listener.


Overload describes the situation when the listener is unable or unwilling to process the information being presented. After a certain threshold (which varies between groups or individuals) any further warning is a waste of time.


It is important to match the type and number of warnings with the listener's capacity to understand and retain the incoming information. As with any load-bearing situation, reducing the load and increasing frequency improves performance.


Ways to reduce overload:

(1) Determine the capacity of the listener to absorb the information.

(2) Prioritize warnings.

(3) Divide warnings into chunks of information that can be delivered effectively over time (reduced amounts over a longer time period).

(4) Use variety in colors, fonts etc. to break-up content.

(5) Provide supplemental written material that can be used for reference as needed.

(6) Test listeners for short and long-term knowledge retention, with targeted retraining.


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