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Exploring electrodermal activity, experienced workload and performance during simulator training

Broeks, M.C. (2012) Exploring electrodermal activity, experienced workload and performance during simulator training.

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Abstract:Novice drivers start their driving experience at a driving school. They learn their skills in a car under the supervision of a driving instructor. In recent years a company called Green Dino developed a driving simulator to teach novice drivers the basic skills. The driving simulator has proven itself as a tool to increase the change to pass the drivers exam. The aim of this study is to observe novice drivers during their driving simulator course. Three male and two female drivers, age 17 and 18, participated in the study. The EDA levels were acquired using an Affectiva Q-sensor, which is an unobtrusive wristband with a wireless biosensor. These EDA levels are a physiological way to measure cognitive demand or arousal and are also used to look at habituation effects. The NASA-TLX test provided a subjective way to measure cognitive demand. A performance rating came from the simulator that grades student performance. Three simulator variables are also analyzed, the lane position, the distance to a preceding vehicle and the distance to a new road element. The results partly agree with the literature. The participants differ in their EDA levels and habituation effects are found as participants show a drop in EDA levels over time. The performance compared with the EDA levels show a result that is consent with the Yerkes-Dodson law, an inverse u-shaped relation between performance and arousal. Against expectations there was no relation found between the NASA-TLX subscales and the EDA levels. Two of the three simulator variables relate significantly with the EDA levels, the lane position and the distance to a new road element. At an individual level the relations with the EDA levels differ. Particpant 3’s EDA levels have a significant relation with all the simulator variables, whereas the EDA levels from participant 4 show no significant relation with the simulator variables. The overall results of this study indicate that EDA measurement by means of an Affectiva Q-sensor is a useful and valid approach to assess EDA levels of novice drivers during a driving simulator course. Furthermore, this study shows that a driving simulator causes EDA responses in participants which relate to performance ratings, as novice drivers respond to specific driving situations. This explorative study reveals new possibilities for further research and is relevant for the simulator industry, driving schools, traffic psychology and psychophysiology research.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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