human factors, warning compliance, stress, task demand, working memory, modality
This study investigated the effects of cross-modality warning presentation and retention in a dual-task paradigm in a simulated military environment under various task-induced stress levels. It was also intended to determine what role working memory played in the mode of warning presentation that resulted in the highest retention and subsequent compliance. An all within participant design was created in order to determine if scores on working memory span tasks predicted performance across the varying forms of warning presentation. Furthermore, task-induced stress levels were varied over the course of the experiment to identify if workload transitions affected performance. Results revealed that when the presentation format and the response format matched (e.g., verbal-verbal), behavioral compliance was greater then when presentation and response format were mismatched (e.g., verbal-pictorial). Thus, it is not necessarily the presentation type that affects compliance, but the combination of presentation and response mode. Analysis also revealed that the pictorial-pictorial warning combination resulted in greater behavioral compliance compared to verbal-verbal or written-written combinations. The format of warning presentation did not affect performance on the operational tasks as predicted. Thus, the visual/spatial operational task, regardless of its complexity was not interrupted in timesharing with intra-modal warning presentations or cross-modal time-sharing. As predicted, task based stress affected the WCCOM task in all experimental procedures. Results further revealed that as task demand increased, performance on the WCCOM task decreased. Task demand did affect the operational tasks, the shooting and the navigation tasks. The shooting task, which was less complex than the navigation task was not affected by lower levels of task demand, but at the greatest level of demand (eight warnings) performance in the operational task, degraded. Degradations in performance on the more complex task, the navigation task, materialized at a moderate level of task demand (four warnings). For subjective ratings, task demand did affect workload ratings. As the task demand increased, the subjective workload ratings also increased, revealing a true association between workload and subjective ratings. The working memory separability hypothesis was supported by the working memory span tasks, but consequently they were not predictive of the warning presentation format.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Helmick-Rich, Jessica, "Warning Compliance: Effects Of Stress And Working Memory" (2005). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 567.