Date of Award

Winter 2003

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

Mark W. Scerbo

Committee Member

James P. Bliss

Committee Member

Glynn D. Coates

Committee Member

Frederic D. McKenzie


Military personnel need access to realistic training tools that can provide a safe environment in which to acquire skills that will generalize to real world tasks. A virtual environment (VE) is one such tool. The focus of the present study was to evaluate a VE as a training tool for military guards. The first goal was to examine the potential of VE technology to provide effective training for standing watch at a military checkpoint. The second goal was to study a set of personality traits that might predict performance. Participants completed the NEO Personality Inventory and were trained to perform the role of a military checkpoint guard within a CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment. Trainees interacted with virtual drivers and determined whether drivers exhibited suspicious behavior and met identification requirements for entry onto a fictional base. Results indicated that participants were able to use VE technology to (a) familiarize and immerse themselves in a military checkpoint task, (b) improve performance on training scenarios, and (c) transfer their knowledge from one session to a subsequent session. Examination of personality traits yielded significant results only for openness as a predictor of performance. Collectively, these findings suggest that VEs show potential for scenario-based training.


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