The moderating influence of self-efficacy on interoceptive ability and counterintuitive decision making in officer cadets
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The rapid technical progress in cyber threats and cyber security poses increased cognitive demands on cyber officers. The macrocognitive demand characteristics placed on the cyber officers exceed those in most common military contexts and are new in nature. Research on decision-making competence within the cyber domain is needed to identify strategies and give a better understanding of how these strategies can have consequences depending on task characteristics. Belief in one’s capabilities to handle a certain task has been shown to be a key factor for cognitive performance. This study investigated how high self-efficacy negatively moderated intuitive decision-making tendencies on performance when facing a problem that required counterintuitive strategies. Twenty-seven cyber officer cadets from the Norwegian Defence Cyber Academy participated in an experiment assessing self-efficacy, interoceptive sensitivity, and decision-making. Participants with high situational self-efficacy generally performed better, but this relationship was moderated by interoceptive sensitivity. The findings suggest potential detrimental effects of intuitive decision-making tendencies in combination with high self-efficacy. Implications for training and feedback structures in cyber defense are discussed.