The situated approach to situation awareness (SA) claims that operators use tools and displays to store information that cannot be held in working memory when they are performing complex and dynamic tasks. Based on this approach, operators store general and high priority information internally and offload specific and low priority information to the environment. High levels of workload can lead to a reduction in working memory capacity and can increase levels of stress. As a result, workload is likely to affect how an operator stores information. The current study tests the situated approach to SA and its assumptions by examining eye fixations during the Situation Present Assessment Method (SPAM) for measuring situation awareness and examines how a shift in workload affects situation awareness and offloading behavior. Results found support for the situated approach to SA such that participants took longer to answer probe queries, made more glances toward the radar scope, and had longer eye glance latencies when answering specific questions than general questions, indicating that they offloaded specific information to the environment. Furthermore, results indicated that workload lead to a change in strategy such that participants took longer to answer probe queries, made more glances toward the radar scope, and had longer eye glance latencies when under high workload conditions. Therefore, higher workload leads an operator to offload information to the environment.
|Commitee:||Strybel, Thomas Z., Vu, Kim-Phuong L.|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 56/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Air traffic control, Human factors, Offloading, Situation awareness, Situation present assessment method, Workload|
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