Examining the Convergent and Discriminant Validity of Visual and Mental Workload Using Ocular Activity Variables

Report No. ARL-TR-5132
Authors: Michael Sage Jessee
Date/Pages: March 2010; 68 pages
Abstract: The Mental Workload construct is examined along with Visual Workload in order to discriminate the relationship between the converging constructs. Six ocular activity variables were measured in order to test their diagnostic and sensitivity properties with regards to Visual and Mental Workload in a UH-60M upgrade simulated flight test. Three pilot crews flew six flight scenarios in which subjective and physiological mental workload measures were implemented across Task Difficulty and Task Differences (pilot on-controls versus pilot off-controls). Results indicate less subjective mental workload for the Hover task compared to the Action on Contact task and greater fixation duration variability for the lower difficulty task. Blink interval was greater for the pilot on-controls and saccadic extent was greater for the pilot off-controls. Results suggest that blink interval and saccadic extent are diagnostic of different aspects of visual workload, whereas fixation duration variability is sensitive to mental workload.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2010