Pre-flight safety briefings, mood and information retention.Appl Ergon. 2015 Nov; 51:377-82.AE
Mood is a moderating factor that is known to affect performance. For airlines, the delivery of the pre-flight safety briefing prior to a commercial flight is not only an opportunity to inform passengers about the safety features on-board the aircraft they are flying, but an opportunity to positively influence their mood, and hence performance in the unlikely event of an emergency. The present research examined whether indeed the pre-flight safety briefing could be used to positively impact passengers' mood. In addition, the present research examined whether the recall of key safety messages contained within the pre-flight safety briefing was influenced by the style of briefing. Eighty-two participants were recruited for the research and divided into three groups; each group exposed to a different pre-flight cabin safety briefing video (standard, humorous, movie theme). Mood was measured prior and post safety briefing. The results revealed that pre-flight safety briefing videos can be used to manipulate passengers' mood. Safety briefings that are humorous or use movie themes to model their briefing were found to positively affect mood. However, there was a trade-off between entertainment and education, the greater the entertainment value, the poorer the retention of key safety messages. The results of the research are discussed from both an applied and theoretical perspective.