The Effects of Information Availability and Information Management on the Performance of Dismounted Military Teams

Report No. ARL-TR-2835
Authors: Monica M. Glumm, Ramakrishna Pillalamarri, Frederick S. Brundick
Date/Pages: September 2002; 75 pages
Abstract: This field study examined the effects of information availability on a helmet-mounted display (HMD) and team support in managing this information about global and local situational awareness (SA), performance, and perceptions of workload. During the investigation, Marine Corps fire teams performed missions in each of four experimental conditions. These four conditions represented a combination of two levels of information availability and two levels of information management. The two levels of information availability were at the operations order and (1) when changes in the position of other units occurred, and (2) when changes in unit position occurred and any other time during the mission. The two levels of information management were (1) team leader only and (2) team leader with team support. In missions when access to information on the HMD was limited, team leaders perceived that they expended more effort and were more frustrated. However, in missions when information could be accessed on the HMD at any time, local SA of team leaders, as measured by the number of targets they detected along the course, decreased significantly. The analyses of performance of measures of global SA were technically but not statistically significant. However, the results are suggestive of the potential influence of information availability and information management and the need for further study. As might be expected, team member perceptions of workload were higher when the team provided information management support, but team participation in information management was not found to have a significant effect on measures of global or local SA or on overall mission performance.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2002