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Matt Crisler: Are Distracted Drivers Aware that they are Distracted…

  • Thursday, February 4, 2010
  • 11:00 AM
  • Brackett 414

Are Distracted Drivers Aware that they are Distracted? Exploring Awareness, Self-regulation, and Performance in Drivers Performing Secondary Tasks

Research has shown that driving while talking on a mobile telephone is likely to cause
drivers’ to fail to see relevant events. However, distraction has been shown to have little
effect on lane-keeping ability. This pattern is similar to research on driving performance
at night suggesting that some problems associated with distraction may parallel those of
night driving.
The current investigation seeks to investigate whether drivers identify and react to their
own performance decrements while distracted and whether they notice differences in
lane-keeping versus identification performance. It is hypothesized that drivers will
expect robust driving performance while distracted and will not report differences in the
effect of distraction on lane-keeping ability and visual recognition ability.

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Stacy Balk: The accuracy of observers’ estimates of the effect of glare on nighttime vision…

  • Student: Stacy Balk
  • Date: Wednesday December 2
  • Time: 9:15 AM
  • Location:  419 Brackett Hall

The accuracy of observers’ estimates of the effect of glare on nighttime vision: Do we exaggerate the disabling effects of glare?

Designing headlights involves balancing two conflicting goals: maximizing visibility for the driver and minimizing the disabling effects of glare for other drivers. In recent years, especially since the introduction of high intensity discharge headlamps, there have been a large number of complaints about headlight glare. It is unknown whether these complaints are more motivated by glare-induced feelings of discomfort or by drivers’ belief that headlight glare is disrupting their ability to see at night. Two experiments – a lab-based psychophysical study and an outdoor field study – are proposed to quantify the accuracy of observers’ estimates of the effects of glare on vision.  It is hoped that the results of these two studies will aid in understanding the relationship between the perceived and actual effects of glare on vision.

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Jeremy Mendel: The effect of Interface Consistency and Cognitive Load…

  • Student: Jeremy Mendel
  • Date: November 30th, 2009
  • Time: 2:00 p.m.
  • Location: Brackett 419

The effect of Interface Consistency and Cognitive Load on user performance in an information search task

Although interface consistency is theorized to increase performance and user satisfaction, previous research has found mixed and often non-significant results.  The source of this discrepancy may be due to varying levels of task difficulty employed in these past studies.  This study attempted to control the task difficulty using the cognitive load theory.  Interface consistency was manipulated along with intrinsic cognitive load and extraneous cognitive load.  Interface consistency was manipulated along all three dimensions: physical, communicational and conceptual.  Intrinsic cognitive load was manipulated by asking participants finance (high intrinsic load) questions and travel (low intrinsic load) questions.  Unnecessary and irrelevant extra hyperlinks were used to manipulate extraneous cognitive load.  These hyperlinks were either present (high extraneous load) or absent (low extraneous load) in the websites.  Forty eight participants searched for answers to 24 questions across four separate websites.  Effects of the manipulations were measured by calculating task completion time, error-rate, the total pages navigated, average time spent on each page and participant’s subjective ease-of-use score.  A three-way interaction was observed for between consistency and the two types of cognitive load.  Specifically, a reduction in errors for the consistent condition was observed in the high cognitive load conditions.  These findings suggest that consistency may be especially important in situations with high cognitive load.

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Jeff Thomas from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

US Army Psychological Health and Resilience Research Program: Occupational Health Psychology in the Military

MAJ Jeffrey L. Thomas, Ph.D.
Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
10/23/09 at 1:30 pm in 419 Brackett

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HFDG: 5 Minute Madness

This Friday will be a 5-Minute MADNESS of Research.  The six first year HF students will present on a variety of cutting edge research topics.  However, they only have 5 slides and 5 minutes (cue dramatic music!).  In addition, they will have 2-3 minutes for discussion and questions afterwards.  The presenter and topics are:

  • Richard Goodenough: Using inertial measurement units to measure head movements made during a simulated driving task
  • Lindsay Long: Reclaiming the Claims Process: GMAC Insurance (the results of a usability study conducted earlier)
  • Scott McIntyre:  Fatigue and Eye Tracking Measures in a Vigilance Task Detecting Brake Lamps
  • Margaux Price:  Conducting a Needs Assessment for Personal Electronic Health Records
  • Rachel Rosenberg:  Product Safety & Liability in Human Factors
  • Linnea Smolentzov:  Linnea will discuss an interesting article on the presentation of health statistics
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