Affect is a key determinant of performance, due to its influence on cognitiveprocessing. Negative emotions such as anxiety are recognized cognitive stressorsshown to degrade decision making and situation awareness. Conversely, positiveaffect can improve problem solving and facilitate recall. This exploratory pilotstudy used electromyography and pupillometry measures to track pilots’levels of negative and positive affect while training in a flight simulator.Fixation duration and saccade rate were found to correspond reliably to pilotself-reports of anxiety. Additionally, large increases in muscle activation werealso recorded when higher anxiety was reported. Decreases in positive affectcorrelated significantly with saccade rate, fixation duration, and mean saccadevelocity. Results are discussed in terms of using psychophysiological measuresto provide a continuous, objective measure of pilot affective levels as anadditional evaluation method to support assessment of pilot performance insimulation training environments.
Aviation Psychology and Applied Human Factors – American Psychological Association
Published: Mar 14, 2014