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A psychophysiological evaluation of the perceived urgency of auditory warning signalsOne significant concern that pilots have about cockpit auditory warnings is that the signals presently used lack a sense of priority. The relationship between auditory warning sound parameters and perceived urgency is, therefore, an important topic of enquiry in aviation psychology. The present investigation examined the relationship among subjective assessments of urgency, reaction time, and brainwave activity with three auditory warning signals. Subjects performed a tracking task involving automated and manual conditions, and were presented with auditory warnings having various levels of perceived and situational urgency. Subjective assessments revealed that subjects were able to rank warnings on an urgency scale, but rankings were altered after warnings were mapped to a situational urgency scale. Reaction times differed between automated and manual tracking task conditions, and physiological data showed attentional differences in response to perceived and situational warning urgency levels. This study shows that the use of physiological measures sensitive to attention and arousal, in conjunction with behavioural and subjective measures, may lead to the design of auditory warnings that produce a sense of urgency in an operator that matches the urgency of the situation.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Burt, J. L.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA United States)
Bartolome, D. S.
Burdette, D. W.
Comstock, J. R. Jr
Date Acquired
August 22, 2013
Publication Date
November 1, 1995
Publication Information
Publication: Ergonomics
Volume: 38
Issue: 11
ISSN: 0014-0139
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Distribution Limits
No Preview Available