Skill Degradation

The purpose of this research is to investigate long term effects of cognitive skill degradation through the use of automation. Advanced studies have looked into information automation (IA) in aviation, however, the amount of empirical data on the effects of these systems on the retention of cognitive skills is less deeply examined. Measurement and analysis of the effects of IA on cognitive performance is an important first step in understanding cognitive skill degradation, which should be considered during the design of these systems. An experiment to evaluate this topic was created in the ACSL lab. The use of an automation aid was expected to result in a high level of performance degradation over time. Participants were randomly placed into three experimental groups and asked to perform flight planning calculations as an experiment task. This work provides the foundation for the design of guidelines and recommendations for IA systems in order to prevent cognitive skill degradation. This work was funded by the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Department’s Undergraduate Research Assistant program.
Katherine Volz

Katherine Volz, M.S.

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering