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Title: Availability and cost of accessing information from the interface : consequences for memory, planning and learning
Author: Waldron, Samuel M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2750 8226
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2007
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Recent developments in technology have meant that operators of complex systems, such as those found in the modern aircraft cockpit, now have access to an unprecedented volume of information. Significant attention within the Human Factors and Ergonomics community has therefore been focussed upon developing methods by which externally represented information can be made as accessible as possible within the interface. However, commensurate attention has not been paid to recent experimental work demonstrating that even millisecond changes to the accessibility of information provided within the interface can have surprisingly large consequences for the deployment of human memory during low-level routine interactive behaviour (Gray, Simms, Fu, & Schoelles, 2006). Therefore, a series of nine studies explored the impact of information accessibility upon more complex human behaviour, with particular emphasis placed upon learning, memory and planning. Three experiments contained within Chapter 2 point to caveats associated with the use of information fusion as a means of increasing the availability of onscreen information during a series of simulated flight navigation missions. Paradoxically, increasing information availability was found to lead to greater problems for retention of visual-spatial information. The cost of accessing problem solving information was manipulated across three further experiments reported in Chapter 3. Least-effort tradeoffs concerning the use of memory, previously observed during routine copying (Gray et al., 2006), were extended to problem solving and were found to also influence planning behaviour, as reflected by eye-tracker and verbal protocol data. The final three experiments constituting Chapter 4 demonstrated expedited learning during repeated problem solving when task-relevant information was harder to access. Performance deficits were observed when interactive behaviour was characterised by excessive reliance upon highly accessible externally represented information. The results are contrasted to similar work conducted in the training literature, and future directions for exploiting information access costs to facilitate learning, memory and planning are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available