- Cognitive Psych, Psych 833 & 333
- Human Factors, Psych 835 & 435
- Advanced Experimental Psych (ie, Research Methods), Psych 310
Service & Admin
- Coordinator of Human Factors graduate program in the Psychology Department
- On Editorial Board of Human Factors
Tech support requires diagnosing user & problem
Allen, J., Gugerty, L., Muth, E. & Scisco, J. (2013) Remote Technical Support Requires Diagnosing the End-User (Customer) as Well as the Computer. Human Computer Interaction. 28(5), 442-477.
Abstract A cognitive task analysis (CTA) and a laboratory study examined the cognitive and communicative processes technical support workers use when providing remote, Internet-based technical support, with a particular focus on the role of the end user who is receiving technical support. The results of the CTA include procedural diagrams illustrating the technical support process and the concept of support workers doing “user diagnosis.” The laboratory study examined how two characteristics of technical support end users, their emotional state and the level of detail in their problem descriptions, affected stress levels and performance of technical support personnel.When end users were vague and angry, technical support workers’ problem solving time and performance ratings were significantly worse.
Navigation affected by interfaces & individuals
William Rodes & L. Gugerty, Human Factors, 2012. Effects of Electronic Map Displays and Individual Differences in Ability on Navigation Performance
Abstract Track-up electronic maps improved performance at navigation tasks including making cardinal direction judgments and following a route, while north-up electronic maps improved long-term learning of the mapped region. Individual differences in spatial ability account for a large amount of variability in navigation performance after controlling for effects of map type.
Improving driving safety via parallel attention
Scott McIntyre, L. Gugerty & Andrew Duchowski, Accident Analysis and Prevention, 2012. Brake lamp detection in complex and dynamic environments: Recognizing limitations of visual attention and perception
Abstract Worldwide, both brake lamps and tail lamps on motor vehicles are required to be red. Previous studies
have not examined the effect of this confound in a complex, high-traffic scenario in a driving simulator or
on visuomotor behavior. In the first of three experiment, drivers detected brake lamps on nine lead vehicles and
lane changes on two rear vehicles in a 15 min simulated night time highway drive. For all studies, tail lamp color was manipulated, resulting in two conditions:
the currently mandated red tail lamps and red brake lamps vs. yellow tail lamps and red brake lamps.
Compared to current rear lighting, employing yellow tail lamps with red brake lamps reduced RT, error,
subjective workload, improved performance in detecting lane changes and also changed visuomotor
behavior. It is suggested that the mechanism allowing better performance is pre-attentive, parallel visual
New ideas re situation awareness
Gugerty, L. (2011). Situation awareness in driving. In Fisher, D. L., Rizzo, M., Caird, J. K., & Lee, J. D. (Eds). Handbook of Driving Simulation for Engineering, Medicine, and Psychology. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
In a recent chapter (PDF), I
focused on the component
processes, both perceptual and cognitive, that make up the ability to
maintain situation awareness (SA) during the real-time task of driving.
The chapter also surveys methods of measuring SA, especially using
driving simulators. What makes this chapter a bit different from other
overviews of SA is: 1) the inclusion of processes not usually
considered to be part of this construct, such as ambient vision and
multitasking; and 2) the description of theoretical models for many of
the component processes of SA (e.g., Wickens SEEV model). The chapter
suggests that maintaining SA involves processes of focal vision
(including attention allocation within tasks, event comprehension, and
task management across concurrent tasks) as well as ambient vision
processes (including attention capture by sudden peripheral events).
Situation awareness is a complex process that requires assessment by a
variety of online and offline measures. Research using these measures
shows that most of the above components of SA can be trained, improve
with driving experience, and correlate positively with safe driving.
Eye tracking measures of situation awareness
Kristin Moore & L. Gugerty, Human Factors & Ergonomics Society Proceedings, 2010. Development of a novel measure of situation awareness: The case for eye movement analysis.
Abstract Situation awareness is a measure of an
individual's knowledge and understanding of the current and expected
future states of a situation. While there are numerous options for SA
measurement, none are currently suitable in dynamic, uncontrolled
environments. The current research explored the relationship between
direct measures of SA and eye tracking measures as a first step in the
development of an unobtrusive SA measure to be used in environments not
suited for current SA measures. Results showed that the more individuals
fixated on an important aircraft in an air traffic control task, the
higher their SA for that aircraft. The study also provided evidence that
the way operators allocate attention (i.e., distributed widely or
narrowly) affects their SA, as well as their task performance. The
results indicate that eye tracking may be a viable option for measuring
SA in environments not conducive to current direct SA measurement
Training for AED use
An article (Human Factors, 2008 PDF)
Blake Mitchell and Eric Muth focused on training for automatic external
defibrillators (AEDs). Here is the abstract.
Objective: This study examined the
effect of three types
of brief training on the use of automatic external defibrillators
(AEDs) designed for in-home use by 43 lay users. Method:
During training, the exposure training group
read an article about AEDs that provided no information on how to
operate them; the low training group inspected the AED and read the
operating instructions in the paper-based manual, but was not allowed
to use the device; and the high training group watched a training video
and performed a mock resuscitation using the AED, but no manikin. All
participants returned two weeks later and performed a surprise
simulated AED resuscitation on a manikin. Results: Most
each training group met criteria of minimally acceptable performance
during the simulated manikin resuscitation, as measured by time to
first shock, pad placement accuracy and safety check performance. Compared to exposure training,
the low and high training had a beneficial effect on time to first
shock and errors.
Knowledge guides internet health searching
In "An exploratory study of the effect of domain knowledge
on internet search behavior: The case of diabetes"
(Gugerty, L., Billman, D., Elliott, A. & Pirolli, P. (2007).
Proceedings the Human Factors & Ergonomics Society Conference. PDF)
we investigated how domain knowledge, about diabetes, influences the
process and outcome of answering complex questions using the internet.
The internet has become an important source of knowledge for people
seeking health information about diseases. People with chronic diseases
often need a great deal of information for self-management and have
emerging needs for new information. Participants in our exploratory
study were 8 people with diabetes and 2 without. An initial interview
identified individuals with high versus low knowledge about diabetes. We
then traced the activity of individuals answering questions about
diabetes. Questions were designed to be difficult, require reasoning,
and lack a single, integrated source with a packaged answer. Here we
report on case analyses of one high and one low knowledge individual.
Domain knowledge influenced activity in multiple respects, including
initial orienting to the task and supplying facts needed in inference