The purpose of this research was to assess whether an adaptive prospective memory (PM) aid could benefit PM performance while minimizing costs such as interfering with primary tasks, user annoyance, and potential for complacency. This was investigated in a series of computer-based experiments that involved dynamic flight scenarios, multiple primary tasks, and 12 unique, embedded PM tasks. The cues to trigger PM tasks were presented in the simulated flight deck environment, such as "call Air Traffic Control at 10000 feet altitude". There were two independent variables (IV): multiple PM aid types were investigated across two primary task workload levels. PM task difficulty was fixed across IV levels such that there were a consistent number of “easy” and “hard” PM tasks across all conditions. Dependent variables included PM measures, such as PM performance and PM reaction time (RT), primary task measures, such as percent correct and reaction time, and subjective impression rating for PM aids and perceived workload. The potential benefits and costs of two different adaptive PM aids modes were investigated: one based on PM task difficulty and the other primary task workload. While PM aids supported a greater benefit for “hard” PM tasks performance compared to “easy” ones, the practical impact was modest and did not justify costs. In a follow-up experiment, there was both a statistical and substantive practical PM performance benefit found across primary task workload levels. Based on the benefits to PM performance and the actual and likely costs of each aid type, we concluded that an adaptive PM aid based on primary task load has the most advantageous cost/benefit ratio in a challenging real-world task environment.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation.December 2015. Major: Human Factors/Ergonomics. Advisor: Caroline Hayes. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 115 pages.
Memory Aids to Improve Follow-Through on Intentions in Complex Task Environments.
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