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Creating a Taxonomy of Variables Affecting Cognitive Aid Design via an Investigation of Hybrid Aids (NNX16AP91G)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Space Human Factors Engineering
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Crewmembers on the International Space Station (ISS), similar to operators from other industries, complain about using current checklist-like procedures to complete tasks. Issues include procedures having too much or too little detail and poor usability. Due to obstacles, mistakes still occur and time to accomplish procedures is misestimated. NASA crew presently use static paper or electronic “cue cards” and procedures that provide guidance on both nominal and off-nominal tasks. Existing tools may not account for the lack of recent training, be optimized for the task, or the number of users, and/or be resilient to resumption after interruption. A more interactive cognitive aid can overcome the limitations of these cue cards and procedures by matching task, individual, team structure, and environment.

Investigators designed a prototype of a hybrid aid for medical equipment maintenance tasks, while at the same time building a library of tools to create similar aids for other procedures. Second, they developed a taxonomy of cognitive aid design that considers the most important variables affecting performance with aids: user knowledge and experience, time pressure on performance, task criticality, and the number of operators expected to interact with the aid.

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Task performance analysis

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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Ground 05/01/2009 In Progress

Human Research Program (HRP) Human Research Roadmap (HRR) Information
Crew health and performance is critical to successful human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. The Human Research Program (HRP) investigates and mitigates the highest risks to human health and performance, providing essential countermeasures and technologies for human space exploration. Risks include physiological and performance effects from hazards such as radiation, altered gravity, and hostile environments, as well as unique challenges in medical support, human factors, and behavioral health support. The HRP utilizes an Integrated Research Plan (IRP) to identify the approach and research activities planned to address these risks, which are assigned to specific Elements within the program. The Human Research Roadmap is the web-based tool for communicating the IRP content.

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Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Eric Gallagher
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
2015-16 HERO NNJ15ZSA001N