Team Mental Model and Team Behavior as a Function of Interface Modality

Report No. ARL-TR-3735
Authors: Bruce S. Sterling and Chuck H. Perala
Date/Pages: March 2006; 37 pages
Abstract: This experiment examined the relationship among team mental models, requesting or providing information, and teamwork behavior. Previous studies have suggested that similar mental models among team members lead to information and action being provided before they are requested, thus facilitating teamwork behavior such as communication, coordination, performance monitoring and backup, and adaptation. In this experiment, U.S. Army second lieutenants were presented with field scenario vignettes and asked to complete a written mental model of the most important task, biggest problems, and actions needed for themselves and other platoon leaders. Independent raters evaluated the participants while they were engaged in dialogue via text-based ?chat,? which was coded for ?providing versus requesting? information or action, and teamwork behavior. Results showed good inter-rater reliability for the measures of mental models, anticipation ratio (providing versus requesting information or actions) and teamwork behavior, suggesting that these concepts were reliably measured. However, no significant relationships were observed among mental models, anticipation ratio, and teamwork behavior. Various methodological reasons are explored as possible explanations for the lack of relationships observed among the factors of interest.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2006