Cue utilisation predicts control room operators' performance in a sustained visual search task

Daniel Sturman*, Mark W. Wiggins, Jaime C. Auton, William S. Helton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This research was designed to determine whether qualified practitioners' cue utilisation is predictive of their performance during a sustained visual search task in an operational context. Australian Distribution Network Service Provider (DNSP) operators were recruited for two experiments, and were classified with either higher or lower cue utilisation based on an assessment of cue utilisation within the context of power distribution. Operators' performance was assessed using a domain-related sustained visual search task. In both experiments, power distribution operators with higher cue utilisation demonstrated shorter mean response latencies during the sustained visual search task, compared to operators with lower cue utilisation. Further, no differences in accuracy based on cue utilisation were observed during the sustained visual search task. The results are consistent with the proposition that power operators with higher cue utilisation have a greater capacity to sustain visual search during domain-related tasks, compared to operators with lower cue utilisation. Practitioner summary: Power distribution system operators' cue utilisation was used to predict performance during a domain-related sustained visual search task. Power distribution operators with higher cue utilisation demonstrated shorter mean response latencies during the sustained visual search task, but no differences in accuracy, compared to operators with lower cue utilisation. Abbreviations: DNSP: distribution network service provider; EXPERTise 2.0: EXPERT intensive skills evaluation; FAT: feature association task; FDT: feature discrimination task; FIT: feature identification task; fNIRS: functional near infrared spectroscopy; FPT: feature prioritisation task; FRT: feature recognition task; SCADA: supervisory control and data acquisition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-60
Number of pages13
JournalErgonomics
Volume63
Issue number1
Early online date23 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Cue utilisation
  • power distribution
  • sustained visual search
  • cognitive load

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