Effects of cognitive style and automation on usability

Date of Completion

January 2006


Psychology, Industrial|Psychology, Cognitive|Computer Science




The present research extends Cooper's (1976) analytic and holistic cognitive styles beyond the visual discrimination paradigm and into a multi-attribute, decision-making context of varying automation levels. Two experiments examined the impact of cognitive style, short-term memory (STM) capacity, and training on the computer interface usability of a pilot simulation task. Accuracy scores and perceptions of workload and situation awareness were dependent variables. The implementation of automation levels during the training session was the greatest predictor of transfer performance. Participants with a quasi-rational cognitive style who experienced adaptive automation during the training session performed the transfer task better than participants with an analytic or holistic cognitive style. The transfer performance of analytic and holistic participants was contingent upon the window design and the level of automation during the transfer task. ^