How can a federal transportation security officer’s thought process influence baggage screening decisions? The Transportation Security Administration and Sandia Research Laboratories are investigating the impacts on threat detection when officers are asked to switch between TSA Pre-Check and standard passenger lanes.

According to Eurasia Review, the research project assesses whether TSA’s airport security officers “experience cognitive impacts when switching from the pre-check lane to a standard lane, and vice versa.”

One of the leading researchers, Ann Speed, said: “We know that expectations have an impact on how people make decisions, and that the actual rate of target items in a sample can also impact decision making. So we designed an experiment to independently test the effects of expectations and threat rates.” Some mitigations based on the study findings will likely be implemented in airports across the U.S., Speed adds.

The analyses were performed with up to 200 TSA officers.