The article talks a lot about stress and I think that is an important factor in the soporific situations you suggest.
Your brain consumes more energy than any muscle in your body and the levels of energy consumption are greatly increased during times of stress because the typical stress response is a release of chemicals (e.g. adrenaline) which can help sharpen your focus but at the expense of greatly increased amounts of energy consumption. It is for this reason - along with the fact that the release of too many chemicals can push you over the threshold of focus - that it is so important to stay calm and emotionally detached during highly stressful events.
Basically your brain is running a sprint as you enter the breakwater and can not sustain the level of energy consumption just as a runner can not continue sprinting at maximum effort more than a 100 yards or so.
The best way to prevent stress is mindfulness training which is basically just actively cheching in with your self and accepting the uncertainty you face coupled by a solid understanding of what causes stress. I don’t think may mariners practice mindfullness or even understand what stress is.
This article defines stress academically but basical all stress is is knowing what you want (e.g. the give way vessel to move, the helmsman to listen, the weather not to worsen, your wife not to call and undload family problems on you…) but not being fully confident that you will get it.
How this pertains to the el faro is that a very effective but highly dangerous stress relief mechanism is to ignore or actively understate the potential for trouble. Ignorance is bliss because if you refuse to understand the full extent of the problems ahead of you then you will not discover what you want… and if you don’t know what you want you will not get stressed.
So I think some aboard the el faro avoided really engaging with the weather problem because they already had a high level of stress and did not (mostly unconsciously) want any more.
The stresses of delivering the new builds on time and on budget might have also resulted in the office ignoring the hurricane the el faro because they did not have the ability to take on more stress.
This is a problem I have seen a lot with Chief Engineers. They will refuse to understand the broader picture because “hey Captain, I gotta stop you there because I got enough problems of my own to deal with!”