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Journal Article


Byblow WD. Appl. Ergon. 1990; 21(2): 121-128.


School of Kinesiology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada.


(Copyright © 1990, Elsevier Publishing)






Synthesised speech and pictorial displays were compared in a spatially compatible simulated cockpit environment. Messages of high or low levels of redundancy were presented to subjects in both modality conditions. Subjects responded to warnings presented in a warning-only condition and in a dual-task condition, in which a simulated flight task was performed with visual and manual input/output modalities. Because the amount of information presented in most real-world applications and experimental paradigms is quantifiably large with respect to present guidelines for the use of synthesised speech warnings, the low-redundancy condition was hypothesised to allow for better performance. Results showed that subjects respond quicker to messages of low redundancy in both modalities. It is suggested that speech messages with low-redundancy levels were effective in minimising message length and ensuring that messages did not overload the short-term memory required to process and maintain speech in memory. Manipulation of phrase structure was used to optimise message redundancy and enhance the conceptual compatibility of the message without increasing message length or imposing a perceptual cost or memory overload. The results also suggest that system response times were quicker when synthesised speech warnings were used. This result is consistent with predictions from multiple resource theory which states that the resources required for the perception of verbal warnings are different from those for the flight task. It is also suggested that the perception of a pictorial display requires the same resources used for the perception of the primary flight task. An alternative explanation is that pictorial displays impose a visual scanning cost which is responsible for decreased performance. Based on the findings reported here, it is suggested that speech displays be incorporated in a spatially compatible cockpit environment because they allow equal or better performance when compared with pictorial displays. More importantly, the amount of time that the operator must direct his vision away from information vital to the flight task is decreased.

Language: en


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