Threat, Performance, Workload, Dual-Task, Soldier
Threat perception is an important issue in today's world. As the line between hostile and non-hostile entities is blurred, it becomes more important for individuals to clearly distinguish between those who would present danger and those who would not. This series of experiments tested whether observers engaged in a dual-task paradigm perceived a greater amount of threat from target stimuli than they did when they were engaged in the threat task alone. The first experiment revealed that observers rated targets as more threatening when they were engaged in the additional task than when they only rated the targets themselves. Response time to the targets was also slower when a secondary task was present. This difference was more pronounced when the secondary task was presented via the auditory channel. Participants also rated overall workload higher when performing a secondary task, with the highest ratings being associated with the dual-task auditory condition. In the second experiment, the design crossed sensory modality with the presence or non-presence of threat. Inter-stimulus interval was also manipulated. The presence of threat was associated with faster response times, though when both tasks had threat components, response time was not the fastest. Additionally, when images came first in the stimulus pairs, observers were slower to respond to the first stimulus than when the sounds were presented first. Results supported the conclusion that additional task loading can affect the perception of threat. The modality of the additional task seems to also play a role in threat assessment performance. Results also led to the conclusion that threat-related visual stimuli are more challenging to process than threat-related auditory stimuli. Future research can now investigate how different types of tasks affect the threat perception task. Implications for better training of soldiers and for the design of automated systems are presented.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Ganey, Harriss, "The Effects Of Secondary Task Demandon The Assessment Of Threat" (2006). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 877.