|M.Sc Student||Golan Hely|
|Subject||The Effect of Team Display on Situational Awareness,|
Performance and Mental Workload
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisor||Professor Avi Parush|
|Full Thesis text|
Team display is a technological aid, often used to assist teams in performing complex and dynamic command and control (C2) tasks. It is aimed to support performance, situational awareness (SA), and potentially reduce mental workload, by providing integrated and predicting information that is beneficial for decision-making. Nevertheless, its impact is yet to be thoroughly understood and can be influenced by other factors, such as task load. The current research explored the impact of a team display on performance, SA, and mental workload. It also investigated whether under certain levels of task load, the team display presence might affect the operator's ability to benefit from it, as it is an additional information channel to observe. In two studies, pairs of participants managed multi-casualty incident scenarios as C2 teams using a simulator. Teams consisted of a supervisor, the operator situated at the emergency medical services (EMS) dispatch center, and a site manager, the operator situated at the incident site. Our research focused on the influence of the team display on the supervisor. Each team managed two scenarios using individual displays, through which they performed tasks, and a team display that was present in one of the scenarios. In study 1, we assessed the influence of the team display presence and absence on performance, SA and mental workload, during scenarios with relatively high task load. In addition, we examined the scenarios' dynamic task load impacts on performance and mental workload during critical requests. Results indicated that supervisors rarely used the team display and that it did not directly facilitate their SA or reduce mental workload. Under higher levels of dynamic task load, the presence of the team display impaired performance and increased mental workload, specifically during complex requests management. In study 2, we examined the supervisor’s ability to benefit from the team display in terms of performance, SA and lower mental workload, under lower levels of task load. Results revealed that the team display’s presence improved performance and third-level SA, and reduced mental workload. Use patterns from both studies were in line with these findings. When the team display was present and task load was relatively high, the attempt to observe the team display resulted in lower transition frequencies between relevant areas at the individual display. In contrast, when task load was relatively low, supervisors were able to attend to the team display without impairing their ability to follow relevant areas at the individual display. These results emphasize the trade-off between the need to manage tasks with the individual display, and to acquire essential information for decision making from the team display. Our findings suggest that this trade-off is more challenging under high task load. Implications are discussed within the context of the dual-task paradigm. Under higher task load, time-sharing two displays can negatively affect attentional resources allocation and harm the ability to perform with and to benefit from the team display. This research highlights the importance of considering the use of such displays in accordance with task characteristics, and suggests design principles.