Scanning and Monitoring Performance: Effects of the Reinforcement Values of the Events Being Monitored
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION WASHINGTON DC OFFICE OF AVIATION MEDICINE
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We formulated a hypothesis suggesting that operators could make scanning and monitoring errors if they tended to concentrate on a high-value display sub-area while ignoring low-value problems elsewhere on the display. Such data would have application to Air Traffic Control Specialist ATCS jobs. We tested the hypothesis in an experiment rewarding good performance in a laboratory task. Subjects monitored two visual display work areas with defined task difficulty. In the high-value work area, each error cost the subjects four or ten times as much as in the low-value work area. The data obtained suggest that differing task error penalties, or reinforcement values, can induce a greater than usual frequency of errors in some subjects. Rewarding good performance in two-work area tests without differing error penalties did not induce significant error rate differences, nor did such rewards significantly affect total task performance levels. This was true even in tests where such differential attention could benefit the subjects overall performance score, thereby increasing subjects performance bonus. However, about 15 of our subjects showed a marked tendency to concentrate their attention on a display sub-area having high-value events while periodically ignoring events elsewhere on the display. Such information may be useful in reducing the frequency of scanning errors by revising training protocols or personnel selection criteria. Vision, Visual displays, Monitoring, Reinforcement, Air traffic control.
- Air Navigation and Guidance