Accession Number:

ADA463518

Title:

An Initial Investigation of Factors Affecting Multi-Task Performance

Descriptive Note:

Final rept.

Corporate Author:

ARMY RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD HUMAN RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING DIRECTORATE

Report Date:

2007-02-01

Pagination or Media Count:

48.0

Abstract:

This report presents the results of the first in a series of investigations designed to increase fundamental knowledge and understanding of the factors affecting multi-task performance in a military environment. The primary objective of this laboratory experiment was to measure and quantify the effects of individual differences on human performance in a multi-task environment. The secondary objective was to observe the effects of previous computer experience and practice and to determine which relationships, if any, exist between personality and self-efficacy traits and multi-task performance. In this study, each of 76 civilian and military participants completed a battery of questionnaires designed to gather information about individual differences. Included were a demographics questionnaire that solicited information regarding age, gender, vision and hearing, military service, and computer use and experience the Zuckerman-Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire Form III which identifies five components of personality in five subscales including activity, aggression-hostility, sociability, neuroticism-anxiety, and impulsive risktaking the polychronicity scale which measures the extent to which individuals prefer working on several tasks at once as opposed to working on only one task at a time and the Situational Self-Efficacy SSE scale which measures the participants level of confidence in their ability to do a task well. After completion of the questionnaires, multi-task performance was measured using SYNWORK Synthetic Work Environment, a computer-based synthetic work environment that runs on a personal computer or a laptop Elsmore, 1994. Participants were required to work simultaneously on four distinct tasks that were presented on a computer screen Sternberg memory, three-column addition, visual tracking, and signal discrimination. These tasks required continuous attention and involved memory, arithmetic processing, and visual and auditory monitoring.

Subject Categories:

  • Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE