Date of Award

Fall 1983

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Committee Director

Glynn D. Coates

Committee Member

Randall L. Harris

Committee Member

Raymond H. Kirby

Committee Member

Ben Morgan

Committee Member

Amos Spady


In a series of three experiments on the effects on eye-scan behavior of both simulator and aircraft motion, the sensitivity of an oculometric measure to motion effects was demonstrated. "Fixation Time", defined as the time the eyes spend at a particular location before moving on (saccade) to another fixation point, was found to be sensitive to motion effects in each of the experiments conducted. The first experiment studied differences between simulator motion and no-motion conditions during a series of simulated Instrument Landing System (ILS) approaches. The mean fixation time for the no-motion condition was found to be significantly longer than for the motion condition for the five pilots tested. This was true particularly for the Flight Director, the instrument supplying attitude and deviation from glideslope information. A second experiment investigated eye-scan parameters based on data collected in flight, with the oculometer in the NASA Transport Systems Research Vehicle (TSRV), and in the fixed base TSRV simulator. The results of this study were similar to those of the first study, and showed fixation time and rate measures to be sensitive to motion (flight) and no-motion. Motion effects were most evident when the subject was viewing a display supplying attitude and flight path information. A third study addressed the question of the nature of the information provided by motion. Utilizing a part-task (monitoring one instrument), with motion in only one dimension (pitch) ten subjects were tested in no-motion, correct motion, and reversed direction motion conditions. The mean fixation times for the no motion condition were significantly longer than for either motion condition, while the two motion conditions did not differ significantly. The results of the present series of experiments support the hypothesis that motion serves an altering function, providing a "cue" or "clue" to the pilot that "something happened". The results do not support the hypothesis that direction of motion is conveyed through this type of motion information. The results suggest that simulation without motion cues may represent an understatement of the true capacity of the pilot.


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