Will Leidheiser proposes his thesis

August 25, 2014

Title of Thesis: The Effects of Age and Working Memory Demands on Automation-Induced Complacency
Thesis Advisor: Dr. Richard Pak
Thesis Committee Members: Dr. Richard Pak, Dr. Patrick Rosopa, and Dr. Kelly Caine
Date, Time, and Location: Monday, August 4th at 10:00 a.m., Brackett 419

Complacency refers to a type of automation use expressed as insufficient monitoring and verification of automated functions. Previous studies have attempted to identify the age-related factors that influence complacency during interaction with automation. However, little is known about the role of age-related differences in working memory capacity and its connection to complacent behaviors. The current study aims to examine whether working memory demand of an automated task and age-related differences in cognitive ability influence complacency. Higher degrees of automation (DOA) have been shown to reduce cognitive workload and may be used to manipulate working memory demand of a task. Thus, we hypothesize that a lower DOA (i.e. information acquisition stage with lower level) will demand more working memory than a higher DOA (i.e. decision selection stage with higher level) and that a lower DOA will result in a greater difference in complacency between age groups than a higher DOA.

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