Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Committee Director

James P. Bliss

Committee Member

Poornima Madhavan

Committee Member

J. Christopher Brill

Abstract

Experts such as military commanders must make decisions quickly and under deadly conditions. A variety of cognitive training media exist, from Powerpoint to virtual reality (VR) simulations; however, there are alternative media that have not yet been comprehensively studied for expert decision making training. In this study, the researcher has examined the use of comics as an alternative to current cognitive training media. In Experiment 1, naval submariners were shown a text-based medium or comic strip and asked to make a decision about the scenario after viewing. The scenario was derived from a situation that submariners were somewhat familiar with but could not predict. In Experiment 2, the level of comic symbolic abstraction was manipulated across three separate comic strips. Results showed that submariners' decision making ability scores were not superior and response times were not faster with comic media than text-based media. Results also did not show superior scores with lower levels of symbolic abstraction. View time for comics was significantly faster than text-based media for Experiment 1. Several post-hoc results for decision making ability scores and response times were also significant.

Post-hoc results showed that submariners' decision making ability scores between comic media and text-based media for Experiment 1 were equivalent at the 90% confidence intervals and were equivalent at the 95% confidence intervals for Experiment 2. Speed was equivalent at the 98% confidence intervals for both Experiment 1 and 2. View time was also equivalent at the 98% confidence intervals for Experiment 2. Comics have shown to be an alternative to current cognitive training media. The findings show that comics have the potential to meet the needs of the diverse military population for rapid and comprehensive soldier training.

DOI

10.25777/xv3s-y681

ISBN

9781124720142

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