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The Effects of Task Load and Shared Displays on Team Situation Awareness

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Interim rept. Jun 1998-May 1999

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In this study, we empirically tested the effects of abstracted shared displays and varying workload levels on the formation of team situation awareness SA. We hypothesized that the use of abstracted shared displays might help to build team SA without imposing the extra workload. Secondly, we wished to further explore the issues associated with workload level and its affect on both team interaction and on the use of the shared displays in the development of team strategies for performing the task. Results supported the use of shared displays for enhancing team performance. However, the way in which people use shared displays was actually quite complex and related to both task strategies used and workload level. We found a greater increase in both penalty and reward points as the task got more difficult. Team interaction also declined as workload increased. The workload level also effected team performance with the display types. Under low workload levels, no performance enhancements or problems were found associated with either shared display. In the high and moderate workload conditions, the penalty points were lowest with the abstracted display and highest with the full shared display. The use of an abstracted display also seems to decrease the need for team interaction. Overall, team SA and performance in team tasks can be greatly enhanced by the development of shared displays, particularly under high workload levels, that are based on the shared information requirements of team members.

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  • Psychology

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