Determining the validity of the task management environment to predict pilot concurrent task management performance Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/zc77st44d

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  • Concurrent Task Management (CTM) is the process by which human operators of complex systems (such as pilots, drivers, surgeons, and operators) allocate their attention among multiple concurrent tasks (Funk, 1991). A more thorough understanding of the human operator's knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with CTM might help us to prevent disasters such as those in aviation, in the operating room, and nuclear power plants. But to develop that understanding, we must develop valid tools to measure the human operator's CTM performance. In this research, a validation study of a software game developed in previous research, the Task Management Environment (TME), was performed. Since the TME exhibits some face validity, it was hypothesized that it may have the potential to be useful for predicting human CTM performance in an airplane cockpit. However, it raises an important question as to whether or not it is a good enough tool to accurately measure CTM performance. Since the Frasca 141 flight simulator has been recognized and certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a valid human performance assessment tool for pilots, it was used to determine if the TME has external validity through a comparison of CTM performance, as measured by the TME, with CTM performance observed in the Frasca 141. Nineteen pilot participants from the Flight Technology Program at Central Washington University were tested for CTM performance on a Frasca 141 flight simulator and the TME. Performances were compared using correlation analyses to determine their relationship. The findings indicated that CTM performance in the TME does not correlate significantly with CTM performance in the Frasca 141 flight simulator. In conclusion, the TME does not have external validity and it cannot be used as a research tool to generalize pilot CTM performance to the "real-world" without modification. However, the limitations of this study may have caused sources of unwanted variability in the results. Future research using the TME might shed new light on validation.
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