The Impact of Higher Levels of Automation on Performance and Situation Awareness

Systems that supported operators with higher levels of information-analysis and decision-selection automation had varying effects on human performance and situation awareness. We investigated whether information-processing and working-memory abilities moderate the effects of automation on human performance and situation awareness. To investigate such effects, we measured the information-processing ability and working-memory capacity of 60 participants. We also assessed their performance and situation awareness when they repeatedly controlled simulated air traffic with the support of different levels of information-analysis and decision-selection automation. Results indicated that performance increased, but situation awareness declined, when the levels of automation increased. The participants with better information-processing ability and working-memory capacity scored better in performance and situation awareness. The participants with higher information-processing ability and working-memory capacity profited from the higher levels of automation. In contrast, the participants with lower information-processing ability and working-memory capacity suffered under higher levels of automation. Authors of future research should thus consider individual differences when investigating the effects of automation and focus on identifying mechanisms that ensure that automation supports all operators.

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01605469
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 23 2016 12:26PM