Complex and high risk decision tasks argue for aids to improve the decision making process. It has been found that the degree of trust that the user has in the aid will directly impact their willingness to use/follow the aidís recommendations.
Recent research into the issue of trust (Madhavan, P., Wiegman, D. & Lacson, F. ďAutomation Failures on Tasks Easily Performed by Operators Undermine Trust in Automated AidsĒ, Human Factors, Vol 48, No. 2, 2006, 241-256) was conducted with not so surprising results.
Easy errors (whether the error was a false alarm or a miss) not only resulted in reduced reliance on the aid, far more so than if the aid failed a difficult task, but also resulted in a heightened sense of self-competence, leading to over-confidence of the participants.
In one case, easy misses by the decision aid resulted in it being followed only 50% of the time during difficult tasks, despite the aid being correct 100% during the difficult task. The performance of this group was virtually equivalent to the group without any aid at all.
The authors recommend that human operators be provided clear and specific information regarding the functional limitations of automation to increase their trust.
Copyright 2006 Beville Engineering, Inc.
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