Adaptive Perspectives on Human-Technology Interaction: Methods and Models for Cognitive Engineering and Human-Computer Interaction

By Alex Kirlik | Go to book overview

Introduction

Alex Kirlik

To this point in the book, each empirical study has been either an instance of the use of Brunswik's methodology of representative design (see chapter 2) or else an instance of the use of hybrid, representative/systematic design. In the former case, tasks and simulations are constructed to preserve the psychologically relevant aspects of the target context or contexts to which findings, models, and interventions are intended to generalize. In the latter case, representative design is augmented by various experimental manipulations, such as time pressure, display design, aiding, and training to test a variety of hypotheses about adaptive behavior and cognition in these settings.

The three chapters in this section take matters a step further by moving out of the laboratory into actual technological work settings. Also in the spirit of representative design, the research presented in these pages did not stop there, instead illustrating the importance of abstracting the essential characteristics of observed behavior and the task environment into formal models and measures. In chapter 13, Degani and colleagues present the results of a study in which data on flight crew automation use was collected while aboard Boeing glass cockpit (757/767) aircraft during 60 actual revenue-generating flights. Canonical correlation (also see chapter 6) was used to analyze data to discover a variety of informative relations linking patterns of environmental variables and patterns of automation use. Additionally, Degani et al. embark on a more encompassing theoretical inquiry using Brunswik's concept of vicarious functioning (see chapter 2) to understand what features of technological ecologies both promote and inhibit the development of robust and flexible goal-directed behavior. Their theoretical framework is illustrated using a variety of concrete examples, including pedestrian signal lights and automobile warning systems in addition to aviation.

In chapter 14, Casner also presents the results of an airline cockpit “jumpseat” observational study. He observed crew behavior and monitored crew– ATC communications during 16 revenue-generating commercial airline flights between San Francisco and Los Angeles, with a particular interest in how the temporal and probabilistic structure of clearances (instructions to flight crews provided by ATC) were reflected in pilots' strategies for using the cockpit flight control resources available to them. Casner used a variety of techniques to measure adaptive fit, resulting in a numerous interesting and practically relevant findings. For example, he found that pilots' use of the highest level of automation (the Flight

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