James L Szalma

James L Szalma
University of Central Florida | UCF · Department of Psychology

Ph.D.

About

187
Publications
101,187
Reads
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3,569
Citations
Citations since 2016
65 Research Items
2320 Citations
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Introduction
I study how variations in task characteristics and the social context interact with person characteristics to influence performance, workload, and stress of cognitively demanding tasks that require sustained attention or that include human-automation interaction. I have also investigated the validity of Fuzzy Signal Detection Theory for performance evaluation. I am currently investigating video game-based training for vigilance, and the influence of motivation on social media use.
Additional affiliations
August 2006 - present
University of Central Florida
Education
September 1995 - August 1999
University of Cincinnati
Field of study
  • Psychology
September 1995 - June 1997
University of Cincinnati
Field of study
  • Psychology
September 1986 - December 1990
University of Michigan
Field of study
  • Chemistry

Publications

Publications (187)
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the relationship of operator personality (Five Factor Model) and characteristics of the task and of adaptive automation (reliability and adaptiveness-whether the automation was well-matched to changes in task demand) to operator performance, workload, stress, and coping. This represents the first investigation of how the Five Fa...
Article
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Motivation is a driving force in human-technology interaction. This paper represents an effort to (a) describe a theoretical model of motivation in human technology interaction, (b) provide design principles and guidelines based on this theory, and (c) describe a sequence of steps for the. evaluation of motivational factors in human-technology inte...
Article
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Unlabelled: Vigilance represents the capacity to sustain attention to any environmental source of information over prolonged periods on watch. Most stimuli used in vigilance research over the previous six decades have been relatively simple and often purport to represent important aspects of detection and discrimination tasks in real-world setting...
Article
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This special issue is intended to move beyond a ‘call to arms’ and to address the question of how current knowledge gained from the study of individual differences can be used to improve research and practice in human factors and ergonomics (HF/E) and the theoretical and practical issues that remain to be resolved. One purpose for this special issu...
Article
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This paper argues for incorporation of an individual differences approach into human factors/ergonomics research and practice. Description of the systematic variation in the human portion (e.g. cognitive and personality traits; motivational and emotional states) of human-technology systems can complement the existing design methods (e.g. task analy...
Article
Some research has suggested that social presence may improve performance. However, results in this area have been inconsistent, and it may be the case that individual differences in personality are crucial moderators of the effect of social presence on vigilance performance. Thus, the present study examined the effect of personality traits on perfo...
Article
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For decades, the concept of enjoyment has been used to measure the psychological benefits of activities and has been shown to determine future behavior toward activities and objects of interest. However, there has been little consensus on the definition and dimensionality of enjoyment. This study introduced a new measure of enjoyment with scale dev...
Article
In the article, "Leveraging Human-Centered Design to Implement Modern Psychological Science," Lyon et al. (2020) presented a case for human-centered design without noting that this has been the focus of Division 21, Applied Experimental and Engineering Psychology, since its founding in 1957. Once acquainted with the work and expertise of Division 2...
Article
Vigilance is the ability to sustain attention for an extended period of time and to respond to infrequently occurring critical signals. One of the most replicable findings within the vigilance literature is the performance decrement; the decline in performance as time on task increases. In an effort to attenuate the decrement, and decrease the work...
Article
The present study sought to review and summarize the extant literature on semantic vigilance, or lexical vigilance, to benchmark the performance, stress, and workload associated with such tasks. This review also seeks to better define and describe semantic vigilance in relation to the vigilance taxonomy (Parasuraman & Davies, 1977; Parasuraman, War...
Article
We present the results of a meta-analysis on warnings which quantify their effects on users’ behavioral compliance to, their recall of, and their attitudes toward, such warnings. We develop this comprehensive effort founded upon patterns observed in prior meta-analyses, but which are now updated and expanded in light of a further two additional dec...
Article
Objective The objectives of this meta-analysis are to explore the presently available empirical findings on the antecedents of trust in robots and use this information to expand upon a previous meta-analytic review of the area. Background Human–robot interaction (HRI) represents an increasingly important dimension of our everyday existence. Curren...
Article
In forty years, human existence will be radically transformed by advances in information technology, including Artificial Intelligence, robots capable of social agency, and other autonomous physical and virtual systems. Future personality research must assess, understand, and apply individual differences in adaptation to these novel challenges. Thi...
Article
Vigilance, or the ability to sustain attention for extended periods of time, has been of interest to the human factors and ergonomics community for 70 years. During this time, several theories have attempted to account for the performance effects commonly associated with vigilance (i.e. the decrement, which manifests in fewer correct detections and...
Conference Paper
Vigilance, also referred to as sustained attention, is the ability to maintain attention for extended periods of time while monitoring for, oftentimes, critical signals. In attempt to aid performance decrements in vigilance tasks, previous research has examined the effects of knowledge of results (KR). In essence, KR provides feedback on performanc...
Article
We evaluated the performance of three highly practiced participants on three task types that comprised a simulated nuclear power plant control operation. Multiple subjective, physiological, and objective performance measures were collected on these three highly-practiced individuals. Results indicated ceiling effects in terms of performance accurac...
Article
Future unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operations will require control of multiple vehicles. Operators are vulnerable to cognitive overload, despite support from system automation. This study tested whether attentional resource theory predicts impacts of cognitive demands on performance measures, including automation-dependence and stress. It also in...
Article
Vigilance, or sustained attention, is the ability to maintain attention for prolonged periods of time. Interestingly, to date, few studies on vigilance have focused on the role of state motivation in sustaining attention. To address this disparity in the literature, the present study examined the effect of two types of state motivation on vigilance...
Article
Electronic Performance Monitoring, or EPM, has been described as the use of electronic systems to monitor and evaluate performance. Research on the effects of EPM has indicated that electronic monitoring may improve employee productivity and performance. However, most of the prior research has utilized computer-based electronic presence to examine...
Article
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Objective: To provide an evaluative synthesis of the life and scientific contributions of the late Joel Warm. Background: As the doyen of vigilance research, Joel Warm expanded our understanding and horizons concerning this critical response capacity. However, he also made widespread and profound contributions to many other areas of perception a...
Article
Objective:: The goal of the present study is twofold: (1) demonstrate the importance of measuring and understanding the relationship between task engagement and vigilance performance, and (2) celebrate the work of Joel S. Warm and expand upon his previous research in two semantic vigilance paradigms. Background:: The importance of measuring task...
Article
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Vigilance is the ability to sustain attention to information for prolonged periods of time, particularly in environments where critical signals may be rare. Recent research in the domain of mind-wandering has suggested that processes associated with mind-wandering may underpin the typical decline in vigilance task performance. Current methods for m...
Article
Vigilance is the ability to sustain attention over a period of time. Previous research has indicated that vigilance tasks are hard work and are stressful for human operators. Performance tends to decline with time on task, and workload and stress typically increase during the course of the vigil. Methods that could be used to overcome the adverse e...
Article
Full-text available
Research on sustained attention regularly reports declines in task performance as a function of time on task, a phenomenon commonly called the vigilance decrement. Therefore, previous work from theoretical and applied fields has focused on attenuating this performance decrement. Recently, aspects of social facilitation have been used to attain this...
Thesis
Full-text available
The expanded use of automation in our technological society has increased the importance of vigilance or monitoring functions in the workplace. As a result, the problem of training for vigilance is a salient human factors concern (Warm, 1993). In an influential study, Wiener (1967) argued that the problem may not be an especially complex one, since...
Article
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Objective: This simulation study investigated factors influencing sustained performance and fatigue during operation of multiple Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). The study tested effects of time-on-task and automation reliability on accuracy in surveillance tasks and dependence on automation. It also investigated the role of trait and state individu...
Article
Lexical vigilance requires sustained attention to lexical, verbal, and semantic information over a prolonged period of time. The perceived stress and workload that typically accompany the performance of these tasks remains relatively unknown. Thus, in the present study 213 observers were assigned to either a standard lexical vigilance task or a ‘lu...
Article
Lexical vigilance is the ability to sustain attention to lexical, semantic, and language-related stimuli, such as words or symbols, for extended periods of time. One gap in the empirical investigation of lexical vigilance is the assessment of sex differences in the performance of these tasks. In the present study, a sample of 213 observers complete...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Vigilance, or sustained attention, is the ability to maintain attention for extended periods of time. Recently, research on vigilance has focused on identifying individual differences and task design factors that may improve cognitive-based vigilance performance. One such factor is social facilitation, which leads to improved task performance when...
Article
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Facebook is one of the most pervasive social networking sites in the world. Growing out of a humble Harvard cataloging project, Facebook has over 2 billion monthly active users (Facebook Newsroom, 2017). This paper will explore the motivations for such widespread use of this technology. The study of Facebook user motivations is not a new endeavor (...
Article
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Objective: The present experiment sought to examine the effects of event rate on a cognitive vigilance task. Background: Vigilance, or the ability to sustain attention, is an integral component of human factors research. Vigilance task difficulty has previously been manipulated through increasing event rate. However, most research in this paradi...
Article
A detailed understanding of operator individual differences can serve as a foundation for developing a critical window on effective, adaptable, user-centered automation, and even for more autonomous systems. Adaptable automation that functions according to such principles and parameters has many potential benefits in increasing operator trust and a...
Article
Recently, experimental studies of vigilance have been deployed using online data collection methods. This data collection strategy is not new to the psychological sciences, but it is relatively new to basic research assessing vigilance performance, as studies in this area of research tend to collect data in the laboratory or in the field. The prese...
Article
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Objective: The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of an independent coactor on vigilance task performance. It was hypothesized that the presence of an independent coactor would improve performance in terms of the proportion of false alarms while also increasing perceived workload and stress. Background: Vigilance, or the abi...
Article
Full-text available
Vigilance, or the ability to sustain attention for extended periods of time, has traditionally been examined using a myriad of symbolic, cognitive, and sensory tasks. However, the current literature indicates a relative lack of empirical investigation on vigilance performance involving lexical processing. To address this gap in the literature, the...
Article
With technological developments in robotics and their increasing deployment, human-robot teams are set to be a mainstay in the future. To develop robots that possess teaming capabilities, such as being able to communicate implicitly, the present study implemented a closed-loop system. This system enabled the robot to provide adaptive aid without th...
Article
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The capacity for superior vigilance can be trained by using knowledge of results (KR). Ourpresent experiments demonstrate the efficacy of such training using a first-person perspective movement videogame-based platform in samples ofstudents and Soldiers.Effectiveness was assessedby manipulating KR during a training phase and withdrawing it in a sub...
Article
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Previous research has demonstrated that individual differences can influence spatial processing performance. In the present study, the relationship between age, sex, and participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) coursework was examined in relation to two types of spatial abilities: mental rotation and cross-sectionin...
Article
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Training for vigilance has been a primary research question for over 70 years. Specifically, researchers have fought to lessen the effects of the vigilance decrement, or the typical decline in performance as time on task increases. In the present study, we examine two forms of training for vigilance: practice and knowledge of result (KR). We propos...
Article
The study of performance, workload, and stress have become a mainstay in the field of Human Factors. These constructs are multi-faceted and are assessed by a variety of measures. In seeking to enhance performance by managing mental workload and stress, it is important for measures to be anchored to meaningful criteria. Workload and stress must be c...
Article
Vigilance, or sustained attention, tasks require observers to attend to information over a prolonged period of time. One individual difference that may be associated with sustained attention performance is achievement motivation, given recent findings in the literature that indicate a relationship between human motivation and attention. Fifty-nine...
Article
Full-text available
Vigilance refers to the ability of an observer to maintain attention over extended periods of time, and to respond to critical signals that occur (Davies & Parasuraman, 1982). Vigilance has been examined since the late 1940s when anecdotal evidence suggested that naval operators missed more critical signals (signifying the presence of enemy submari...
Article
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Observation is a common occurrence within the workplace, and can often manifest as either peer-to-peer monitoring or supervisor-to-peer monitoring. To date, there is a limited body of research that describes changes in performance due to either a positive or negative relationship between supervisors and employees. The present study reports qualitat...
Article
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There is relatively little research on the intersection of state and trait motivation measures and vigilance task engagement. The present research demonstrates and catalogs the correlation between several measures of self-reported motivation and task engagement factors on the short- and long-form versions of the Dundee Stress State Questionnaire (D...
Article
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Vigilance research often utilizes training to prepare observers for the monotony associated with these types of tasks. Although performance benefits have been shown previously for training, little evidence exists for the subjective effects training for vigilance can impose. The goal of this study is to investigate the effects of two types of traini...
Article
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We first tested the effect of differing tactile informational forms (i.e. directional cues vs. static cues vs. dynamic cues) on objective performance and perceived workload in a collaborative human–robot task. A second experiment evaluated the influence of task load and informational message type (i.e. single words vs. grouped phrases) on that same...
Article
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Thomson, Besner, and Smilek (2016) propose that performance decrements associated with sustained attention are not consistently the result of a decline in perceptual sensitivity. Thomson et al. (2016) present empirical evidence using a novel, nontraditional vigilance task to support their assumptions. However, in the present rebuttal, we argue that...
Article
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The need for cognition and motivation are related to performance in school and standardized tests. In this study, 422 students completed a battery of individual difference measures and reported their scores on the American College Testing (ACT) exam, Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), high school grade point average (GPA), major GPA, and overall colle...
Conference Paper
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Our technology laden world continues to push the limits of human cognitive performance. Human performers are increasingly expected to assume roles of passive monitors rather than active engagers of technology systems [1]. Active and physical tasks have shifted to more sedentary tasks requiring significant cognitive workload at a rapid pace. Consequ...
Article
Vigilance is the ability of an observer to maintain attention for extended periods of time; however, performance tends to decline with time on watch, a pattern referred to as the vigilance decrement. Previous research has focused on factors that attenuate the decrement; however, one factor rarely studied is the effect of social facilitation. The pu...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To provide an evaluative overview of the life and contributions of Raja Parasuraman. Background From his earliest contributions in clarifying and explaining the problematic area of vigilance to his most recent interdisciplinary advances in understanding how genotype relates to behavior in complex technical environments, Raja Parasuraman...
Article
Vigilance, or sustained attention, is the ability to maintain attention to stimuli over a prolonged period of time. Synonymous with the study of sustained attention is the vigilance decrement, which is a decline in performance as a function of time on task. In the present study, we examined the effects of state motivation (i.e., motivation measured...
Article
Vigilance refers to the ability of an observer to detect signals over a prolonged period of time. An important component of vigilance is the performance decrement, in which a decline in the correct detection of critical signals occurs as a function of time on task (e.g., Becker, Warm, Dember, & Howe, 1994). Typically, this decline in performance is...
Article
Full-text available
Telehealth systems and devices allow for the exchange of important healthcare data between users and practitioners (Malvey & Slovensky, 2014). To date, there has been little research on the motivation underlying engagement and adoption of telehealth systems. Given this, the present study tested a new measure, the mHealth Technology Engagement Index...
Article
Motivation has been found to direct our attention across a number of studies. In the literature, this phenomenon is referred to as motivated cognition. The present study seeks to extend the work on motivated cognition to an applied setting: video gaming. We measured memory recall performance on a 20-minute game-based attention task. Forty-nine (27...
Article
Full-text available
Vigilance, or sustained attention, refers to the capability of an individual to maintain attention to a stimulus over extended periods of time. Typically, vigilance tasks are associated with high levels of workload and stress, which manifests as less task engagement, and greater distress. Several factors have been shown to affect vigilance and its...
Article
Full-text available
Background While much is known about factors that facilitate telehealth adoption, less is known about why adoption does or does not occur in specific populations, such as students. Objective This study aims to examine the perceptions of telehealth systems within a large student sample. Methods Undergraduate students (N=315) participated in a surv...
Article
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OCCUPATIONAL APPLICATIONS We tested the boundaries of Parasuraman's vigilance taxonomy to see how porous they are. The degree of porosity is especially informative in mitigating and eliminating the vigilance decrement. These results are relevant to every form of human operation in automated, semi-automated, and autonomous computer-mediated systems....
Article
Introduction: Telehealth systems and mobile health (mHealth) devices allow for the exchange of both physical and mental healthcare data, as well as information from a patient to a practitioner, or care recipient to caregiver; but there has been little research on why users are motivated to engage with telehealth systems. Given this, we sought to c...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: We used meta-analysis to assess research concerning human trust in automation to understand the foundation upon which future autonomous systems can be built. Background: Trust is increasingly important in the growing need for synergistic human-machine teaming. Thus, we expand on our previous meta-analytic foundation in the field of hu...