Decision making, human factors, cognitive psychology, performance under stress
The current dismounted soldier and the soldier of the future will be "loaded" with more information processing tasks while they perform shooting tasks. It is conceivable that some increased level of cognitive tasking may be performed simultaneously with required shooting tasks. The effect of cognitive load on shooting performance has been previously examined (Scribner and Harper, 2001). This study concentrated on the effect of various cognitive workload demands on a friend-foe discrimination shooting task in a single- and dual-task scenario. In light of this, it is imperative that the soldier not be overburdened mentally, which may result in decreased survivability and lethality. Specifically, this study was designed to examine the ability of the soldier to perform friend-foe target discrimination and shooting accuracy, with varying target exposure times, friendly target signatures, and varying cognitive load demands (working memory recall task). Using the Small Arms Simulator Testbed (SAST) we examined the effects of manipulations of working memory load and sustained information transfer, on shooting performance (as measured by target acquisition and friend/foe discrimination indices). Additionally, we investigated subjective measures of workload and stress. A secondary task, administered aurally, was given to subjects to attend to while they performed shooting (friend/foe discrimination task) scenarios: working memory recall task. Each type of task consisted of three levels of difficulty. Analysis of variance revealed significant differences for the memory recall task during shooting and non-shooting conditions. Furthermore, results showed that workload increased as a function of task demand, with associated decreases in shooting performance.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Burke, Kelly Ann, "Friend/foe Identification Accuracy And Shooting Performance: Effects Of Prior Task Loading And Time Pressure" (2007). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3102.