Valerie K Sims

Valerie K Sims
University of Central Florida | UCF · Department of Psychology

About

93
Publications
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Publications

Publications (93)
Chapter
Anthropomorphism, or the perception of humanlike qualities in something that is not human, can have great influence on one’s ability to interpret and predict the behavior of an object or agent, such as a computer. The objective of this study was to consider how even small differences in interface design can influence the way people understand and w...
Article
The goal of this research was to examine students’ risk perception of hurricanes and hurricane-related storms to address a critical gap in the literature. Participants were asked to rate their perceptions of a tropical storm, tropical depression, and category 1 through 5 hurricanes on five dimensions and define the storms based on wind speed. Lastl...
Article
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Objective The goal was to examine the effectiveness of fear language in the protective action recommendation of an emergency warning, which instructs people how to prepare and stay safe. Background Past work is limited because it has focused on describing the severity of the weather crisis, not improving the recommendation. Likewise, other researc...
Article
A virtual reality (VR) training system’s effectiveness is determined by how well the knowledge-and skills-gained in the virtual environment transfers to real-world performance. The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of virtual reality training by comparing semantic memorization in congruent (e.g., memorization task in VR and recognit...
Article
Humans often attribute a humanlike mind to a nonhuman to better understand its behavior in a process known as anthropomorphism. This paper seeks to use personality assessment as a measure of perceived humanlike mental capacities of computers. The relationship was further examined by comparing to assessments of a living counterpart, in this case pet...
Article
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The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of video gameplay and biological sex on memory and the Need for Cognition in adults and aging adults. A sample of adults who played video games were identified from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). The final poststrata sample included 242 respondents in the 2012 HRS wave. Of these respondent...
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of mobile device screen size and different positions on head posture. Participants’ angle of head flexion was measured when they were sitting, lying on their back, and standing while using mobile devices of different sizes. Results showed that participants had a greater head flexion when standing...
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine the types of risk communication received about Hurricane Irma by a university sample, along with their perceptions of self-efficacy and susceptibility to the storm. Three days after the storm, 176 individuals completed a survey that asked about how they received alerts, the frequency of the alerts received,...
Article
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To assess cognitive deficits in everyday tasks, clinical neuropsychologists have started to move toward neuropsychological testing performed in immersive virtual environments. Ideally, this type of assessment can provide greater ecological validity along with sufficient experimental control for accurate assessment. This paper presents a scoping rev...
Article
This research seeks to understand the interaction between anxiety, seductive details, cognitive load, and learning. Research investigating the seductive details effect in learning and anxiety with relation to cognitive load has not reached a consistent conclusion. Additionally, to our knowledge, no previous study has looked at the relationship betw...
Article
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Highlights: - Gesture interaction design does not typically begin with a user-centered approach that takes into consideration what the user perceives is natural - Natural gestures were perceived as having 15% higher usability than arbitrary gestures - Natural gestures were seen as inducing a higher sense of control in the computer lesson, more imme...
Article
The study of the subjective gameplay experience spans multiple disciplines. Despite decades of interest, little agreement has been found regarding the way particular constructs—namely immersion, involvement, presence, and flow—are used to describe this concept. Without the consistent usage of well-defined constructs, it is difficult to further scie...
Article
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Objective The purpose of the present research is to establish measurement equivalence and test differences in reliability between computerized and pencil-and-paper-based tests of spatial cognition. Background Researchers have increasingly adopted computerized test formats, but few attempt to establish equivalence for computer-based and paper-based...
Article
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The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the need for collaboration between two areas of research: classical psychological helping behaviours and emergency warnings. A large-scale disaster (i.e., the Chicago Heat Wave) is used throughout the paper as an example in which knowledge of the helping behaviour literature could have assisted emergency...
Conference Paper
Human-computer interfaces are changing to meet the evolving needs of users and overcome limitations of previous generations of computer systems. The current state of computers consists largely of graphical user interfaces (GUI) that incorporate windows, icons, menus, and pointers (WIMPs) as visual representations of computer interactions controlled...
Article
The measurement of technology behaviors occurs in everyday interactions with websites and smart devices, and can be applied to customize interfaces to improve users’ experiences as well as increasing revenues via targeted ads. This is possible because technology behaviors can reflect underlying personal and psychological characteristics about users...
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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The purpose of this research was to examine how false alarm experience of weather-related emergencies affects the relationship between perceived danger and desire for warnings. Participants reported how dangerous they perceived each event to be, whether they believed warnings should be distributed, whether they had experienced the event, and whethe...
Article
Two studies were conducted to develop and confirm a generalized measure of texting behavior, the Texting Behaviors Index, using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis on samples of undergraduate students. A solution containing 6 factors for texting behaviors was supported, which were named social connection, escapist, distracted, audacious, n...
Article
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There are many known problems with inappropriate response to emergency warnings. Recommended actions are not always properly followed, and sometimes emergency warnings are not taken seriously. A variety of psychological individual differences can influence the perception of emergency warnings. At present, warning distributors do not consider how th...
Article
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The purpose of this study was to measure response and reaction time (RT) to call 911 for five weather emergencies in order to determine whether participants considered them “serious” enough to call for help. Past research has shown that people fail to take emergency warnings seriously, possibly due to past experience and poor risk assessment. Parti...
Article
The present study surveyed a sample of middle school students on their technology habits, with a primary focus on texting behaviors. A secondary sample of college students was surveyed as a comparison group to examine individual differences in texting behaviors. Results indicate that college students text more frequently than middle schoolers; howe...
Conference Paper
The present study investigated several factors hypothesized to affect player performance in a real-time strategy computer game, StarCraft II (SC2). User preferences for certain game settings (e.g., custom hotkey shortcuts) and peripheral equipment (e.g., gaming keyboards, laser mice) were surveyed along with usability perceptions and individual dif...
Article
The purpose of this research was to explore perceptions of emergency alert systems used by universities. After an averted crisis at the University of Central Florida, students were surveyed about how the event changed their perception of the university’s emergency alert system. Students retrospectively rated themselves as not taking the emergency a...
Article
Texting while driving is a dangerous behavior that is heavily researched. However, there are other problematic texting habits that are less well-researched. A study was performed to examine other potentially problematic texting behaviors in addition to texting while driving. Furthermore, individual differences in cognition and feelings of control w...
Article
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Very little research has investigated whether believing in paranormal, conspiracy, and pseudoscientific claims are related, even though they share the property of having no epistemic warrant. The present study investigated the association between these categories of epistemically unwarranted beliefs. Results revealed moderate to strong positive cor...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Individual differences in the Need for Cognition (NFC) have been demonstrated to impact academic achievement, problem solving, and many classic psychology effects. The Self-Reference Effect (SRE) has been consistently shown to assist in recall and has been applied in education through context personalization of learning material. The current study...
Article
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Three hundred and three female participants between the ages of 18 and 77 reported their experience in crafting (sewing, knitting, and crocheting) and completed a measure of spatial ability: The Paper Folding Test. To investigate the connection between spatial ability performance, age, and craft expertise, an ANOVA was conducted for the Paper Foldi...
Article
The current study examined whether the addition of either a robotic cat or a robotic dog to the picture of a male or female model, could affect the participants first impressions of the model. The participants were directed to a website and randomly assigned to a picture. Next, they answered a survey related to their perceptions of the model. Indiv...
Article
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It has been suggested that older adults have more difficulty processing synthetic (computerized) speech than natural speech. One of the reasons for this is that with age, understanding and interpreting speech requires additional working memory resources. As synthetic speech is often listened to when one is engaged in an additional task, it importan...
Conference Paper
We have elicited human quantitative judgments of semantic relatedness for 122 pairs of nouns and compiled them into a new set of relatedness norms that we call Rel-122. Judgments from individual subjects in our study exhibit high average correlation to the resulting relatedness means (r = 0.77, σ = 0.09, N = 73), although not as high as Resnik's (1...
Article
Full-text available
Synthetic speech is a commonly used form of computer-generated speech. Synthetic speech is different than natural speech as it has a different pacing and lacks intonation. English natural speech with a foreign accent also has a different pacing and pronunciation than an American’s own natural accented speech. A study was performed to determine if u...
Article
It is becoming commonplace for humans to use technology to enhance and augment their understanding of the world. In this study, we investigated whether attention to these forms of technology can be predicted by scores on the Technomorphic Tendencies Scale (TTS) (Lum et al., 2011). Participants completed the TTS and were eye tracked while viewing pi...
Article
A recent trend in consumer and military electronics has been to allow operators the option to control the system via novel control methods. The most prevalent and available form of these methods is that of vocal control. Vocal control allows for the control of a system by speaking commands rather than manually inputting them. This has implications...
Article
Adolescence is a stressful time for many children. Changes in their environment or changes in social situations are some typical stressors that an adolescent child might encounter. Interactions with parents can also be stressors for a child. Previous research has shown that a risk factor for a parent using harsh parenting techniques is perceived co...
Article
Full-text available
This study was designed to compare the natural free form communication that takes place when a person interacts with robotic entities versus live animals. One hundred and eleven participants interacted with one of four entities: an AIBO robotic dog, Legobot, Dog or Cat. It was found that participants tended to rate the Dog as more capable than the...
Article
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Recognizing facial affect is essential for effective social functioning. This study examines emotion recognition abilities in children aged 7-13 years with High Functioning Autism (HFA = 19), Social Phobia (SP = 17), or typical development (TD = 21). Findings indicate that all children identified certain emotions more quickly (e.g., happy < anger,...
Article
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A measure of play experience in video games was developed through literature review and two empirical validation studies. Despite the considerable attention given to games in the behavioral sciences, play experience remains empirically underexamined. One reason for this gap is the absence of a scale that measures play experience. In Study 1, the in...
Article
The mental models that participants had about the common technological device of a computer were examined in 1999 and 2009. The participants were prompted with the question “What is like a computer?” in order to generate analogies that were used to access their mental models. Results indicated that more analogies were generated in 1999 rather than...
Article
Synthetic speech, which is generated by a computer, is widely used in both everyday situations (e.g. GPS devices; weather alerts) and the military (e.g. aviation). Synthetic speech is not identical to spoken speech, as it has a different pacing and varying pronunciations. Participants engaged in a Dichotic Listening Task in which they actively repe...
Article
Influences of priming on perceiving object-action has been explored, but not in the context of novel technologies. Previous research, including that of analogical reasoning and knowledge transfer, has suggested that priming with more unique methods of object interaction would facilitate faster and more accurate identification of prototypical/fictio...
Article
Low level cognitive measures were examined in the context of team performance and success. Specifically, eye tracking and vocal analysis were examined at the individual level to determine if this type of measurement could be used to predict team performance. The team consisted of 3 undergraduate participants who performed a simulated military plann...
Article
While traditionally researchers have focused on making robotics more user-friendly from a human perspective, a new theory has begun to take shape in which the human makes decisions based on how a robot would. The following study examines the concept of technomorphism which is the attribution of technological features and characteristics to humans....
Article
A plethora of research has examined video games in the context of training and violence. However, little has been done in examining the individual differences that may exist as it relates to success or failure during game play. Few studies have focused on empirically testing usability and performance issues specifically related to sports games. In...
Article
Full-text available
Social skills deficits are commonly reported among children with social phobia (SP) and children with Asperger's Disorder (AD); however, a lack of direct comparison makes it unclear whether these groups, both of which endorse the presence of social anxiety, have similar or unique skills deficits. In this investigation, the social behaviors of child...
Article
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The grayest areas of defining child sexual abuse appear to involve the age and sex of the individuals involved, resulting in a potential for different attributions regarding child sexual abuse across individuals. As a result, this study examines the responses of 262 male and female college student participants after viewing a series of hypothetical...
Article
Research demonstrates the importance of early social interactions in the development of schemas and automatic thoughts. It does not appear, however, that the existing research examines intergenerational correlations in automatic thoughts. As a result, this study explores the relationship between the automatic thoughts of parents and those of their...
Article
Two groups of first, third, and fifth grade children were interviewed about their mental models of computers. The first group was interviewed in 1999, and the second in 2009. In both data sets, children as young as 6 years of age generated well developed analogies for computers. However, the 2009 data showed that children are increasingly able to g...
Article
Fifty-Six undergraduates completed a series of mental rotation exercises involving levels of underwater spatial mental model activation. The mental rotation exercises were performed after achieving ninety percent accuracy on a brief training exercise. It tested whether underwater experience had an effect on mental rotation performance. Same/differe...
Article
The current study is an examination of how using “wearable technology” may impact the impressions formed by others about the technology user. Previous research has examined how technological devices that are made to be more humanlike may be perceived, yet little research has investigated the perceptions of humans who are made more like technologica...
Article
Research shows that human responses to robots are largely dependent on the robot's physical attributes. The present study investigates whether robots' auditory cues are interpreted differently depending on the degree to which they are anthropomorphic in nature. Participants viewed a robot that responded with human speech, synthesized “robotic speec...
Article
This study was designed to examine natural free form communication that exists when a person interacts with robots versus live entities. Participants interacted with one of four entities: an AIBO robotic dog, Legobot, dog or cat. The amount of words spoken by the participant while interacting with the entity was recorded and coded for word count, a...
Article
Full-text available
Forty-two undergraduates completed a computer based interactive training simulation that required them to understand a potential hostage situation that arises during a customer service position in an Emergency Room. Each participant was given either deep or surface emotion regulation training prior to participation. Eye movements during the simulat...
Article
Participants completed a complex team exercise designed to mimic military planning operations. Each member of the three-person team was eye-tracked as they completed the group task. Members of successful teams had more fixations, were less reliant on external memory aids (push-pins), and created plans that were longer. Additionally, team members in...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recently, robots and artificial intelligence have been utilized in situations that are hazardous to humans. This experiment examined differences in performance, communication and perception when humans work with human or non-human "intelligent agent" teammates while engaged in a simulated search and rescue mission. Participants were found to speak...
Article
There have been relatively few studies on the relationship between recent perceived environmental stress and cognitive performance, and the existing studies do not control for state anxiety during the cognitive testing. The current study addressed this need by examining recent self-reported environmental stress and divided attention performance, wh...
Article
The goal of the current study was to examine the relationship between perceived control and views of animal training practices. Four hundred and thirty-seven participants completed a measure of perceived control in caregiving situations (Parent Attribution Test) and a 55-item questionnaire assessing attitudes toward a variety of animal training tec...
Article
Shared mental models of the team and task have been shown to facilitate better team processes (e.g. coordination) and performance. To this extent, more dynamic measures of mental model measures are needed to better understand how sharedness is through various team macrocognitive stages. This study investigated the relationship between eye patterns...
Article
This study examines how individuals look at robot "faces," and whether the same methods are used when examining the human face. Participants' eyes were tracked as they viewed faces of both popular media and research robots. Results show that participants use different look patterns, in terms of fixation times, when looking at robot faces as compare...
Article
Full-text available
The current study investigated contradictory findings from recent experimental and meta-analytic studies concerning working memory deficits in ADHD. Working memory refers to the cognitive ability to temporarily store and mentally manipulate limited amounts of information for use in guiding behavior. Phonological (verbal) and visuospatial (nonverbal...
Article
The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in interaction and attribution when participants directed either a robotic dog (AIBO) or a live dog. Twenty-nine participants (20 female, 9 male) directed one of the two entities, a live dog or AIBO, through a complex maze from a remote location by providing voice commands. Participants were...
Article
When people interact with one another, there is a series of conscious and unconscious evaluations used to judge the situation in order to determine an emotional response. This research examines whether the emotional appraisals that individuals use when interacting with other humans, can be applied to human-agent interactions, and whether the attrib...
Article
This study examined the relationship between assertiveness and such physiological features as heart rate and vocal inflections(pitch and intensity). The vocal data were assessed from a first person simulation in which participants interacted with video-based characters. During the simulation, the participants' partner (friend, family member, or acq...
Article
This study further examines the issue of whether perception of automobile “faces” can be predicted based on the way in which people process human faces. Specifically, this work examined whether consumer ratings are correlated with the relative size of features on the front end of an automobile. Participants rated twenty-three cars on a variety of c...
Article
The present study examined the role of minimal features in humans' attributions for automobiles. This work extends research on minimal features in drawn stimuli by testing whether the findings extend to real automobiles. Participants viewed sixteen front ends of cars that varied in terms of the shape of the headlights and the shape of the grill. Ea...
Article
Hypothetical scenarios depicting an act of animal abuse were given to 438 participants who rated the appropriateness of eight types of punishments. The predictive value of sex of participant, animal type, crime type (acute abuse or neglect), crime outcome (victim lives or dies), and sex of perpetrator for ratings of appropriate punishments was eval...
Article
Participants rated machine “faces” which varied in terms of facial feature shape, whether the eyes had a pupil or not, and seven eye colors (blue, green, orange, pink, red, purple, or yellow). Ratings were made for aggression, friendliness, intelligence, trustworthiness, and degree of animation. Faces with eyes that had a discernable pupil were rat...
Article
Participants rated machine "faces" which varied in terms of facial feature shape, face shape, and eight facial background textures. Ratings were made for aggression, friendliness, intelligence, trustworthiness, and degree of animation. In addition, reaction time was collected for all ratings. Rough metal and blank facial backgrounds were perceived...
Article
Participants rated machine "faces" which varied in terms of color scheme (white on black or black on white), feature shape (round or square), verticality of eyes, verticality of nose, and verticality of mouth. Ratings were made for aggression, friendliness, intelligence, trustworthiness, and attractiveness. Equally proportioned features yielded the...
Article
Participants were introduced to one of three robots-a bipedal Robosapien, a treaded vehicle, and a wheeled vehicle. They then used voice commands to guide this entity through a maze from a remote destination. Feedback was given via an arrow that showed the entity either responding to the voice commands or ignoring them. The same feedback was given...
Article
Participants rated robotic forms on three scales: perceived aggression, intelligence, and animation. The robot bodies varied along five dimensions: Types of edges (beveled or squared), method of movement (wheels, legs, spider legs, or treads), number of movement generators (2 or 4), body position (upright or down), and presence of arms (present or...
Article
Participants rated machine "faces" which varied in terms of eye size, eye shape, distance between eyes, and relationship to background color (white on black or black on white). Ratings were made for aggression, friendliness, intelligence, trustworthiness, and degree of animation. In addition, reaction time was collected for all ratings. Large, roun...
Article
It has been previously shown that there is a relationship between level of metacognitive ability and estimation of ability for largely verbally-based tasks; those with lessened facility for the task tend to overestimate their aptitude relative to their peers (Kruger & Dunning, 1999). This study examines this effect for a task of mechanical ability,...
Article
The present study examined whether search memory is facilitated by the presence of ecologically congruent cues. Participants completed a visual search task in which they had to decide whether one or two targets were present in an array of 12 items. Reaction time and eye movements were recorded. Targets consisted of either organic stimuli (person, d...
Article
Two scales were constructed to assess anthropomorphism during human-machine and human-animal interactions. Participants were asked about their tendencies to self-engage in anthropomorphic behaviors and their attributions about others' anthropomorphic behaviors. Results indicated that the tendency to anthropomorphize pets is distinct from the tenden...
Article
The present study examined if spatial knowledge gained from a virtual environment is affected by the spatial ability of the participant, and whether information can be more efficiently acquired and applied to a physical space when participants are given a display featuring both overhead and first-person visual cues. Three spatial training displays...
Article
Participants completed a visual search task that varied along three dimensions: 1) stimulus type: ecologically valid humans or ecologically neutral objects, 2) stimulus behavior: static, dynamic or random, and 3) number of targets: one or two. Search was faster when ecologically valid stimuli were used, and when these moved in a predictable fashion...
Article
Studies have explored the motivations behind the decision to become vegetarian, and have explored the well being of vegetarians. However, little research has focused on the social psychological and interpersonal aspects of vegetarianism. The focus of this study was to develop a scale designed to measure attitudes toward vegetarians (ATVS). This sca...
Article
This research assessed the importance of rendering specific details when creating a virtual forest. Specifically, we examined memory for computer-generated trees using a modified recognition task in which participants were shown a target tree, engaged in a distractor task, and then ranked the similarity of seven foils to the original tree they had...
Article
This research examined the strategies, emotions, and beliefs described by participants completing a complex three dimensional spatial task. After completing the task, participants examined a video of themselves performing the task. During the video performance, participants completed a thought listing exercise designed to elicit strategies used, as...