Airport X-ray Baggage Screening Color Codes
This research investigated both cognitive and affective influences of alternative color combinations in a search task paradigm. The effects of re-mapping the existing, comparatively arbitrarily color codes of baggage X-ray images, were explored. Alternative color-codes were evaluated for improving the economy of visual search in X-ray baggage screening. Using a 2 x 2 between-groups design, the perceptual aspects of color-codes varying in degree of visual agreeability (accordant or discordant) and color contrast (high or low) were examined in terms of effectiveness (detection accuracy) and efficiency (reaction time). Three hypotheses were put forth; two postulated main effects for color contrast and for visual agreeability, and a third postulated an interaction. Additionally, for comparison purposes, a fifth group of participants was presented with a stimulus condition that represented the current industry standard for colorizing X-ray images. Out of 100 volunteers, data were usable for 95 participants who had been randomly assigned to one of five conditions. All participants were exposed to the same screening task. The screening task required participants to view 153 X-ray images in random order. Of these images, 36 contained a single threat item (knife, scissor, gun) among clutter. Analyses of variance revealed significant differences between conditions with respect to detection accuracy. Implications are that high-color contrast improves detection accuracy; specifically with respect to correct rejections, and that this effect on performance can be moderated by psycho-emotional mechanisms. Specifically, the impact of color-contrast was significantly more pronounced under conditions of accordant color combinations. Theoretical underpinnings and applications to other domains are discussed.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Hilscher, Matthew, "Performance Implications Of Alternative Color-codesin Airport X-ray Baggage Screening" (2005). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 449.