Response-Effect Compatibility Affects Performance in a Web-based Lane-Assisted Driving Task


When performing speeded choice reaction tasks, participants usually respond faster and/or less error prone when either stimulus and response and/or response and effect are consistently located on the same side rather than on opposite sides. Such spatial stimulus response compatibility (SRC) and response effect compatibility (REC) effects have not only been studied extensively in basic psychological research but might also have direct implications for human factors related concerns such as display design. In the present study, we aimed at investigating the concurrent influence of REC and SRC on performance in a lane-assisted driving task. To that end, we varied both R-E and S-R compatibility in an online, browser-based and unsupervised virtual car steering experiment; a POV 3D simulation of a cockpit view driving a car down a street was complemented by a 2D animated interactive lane assistant depicting the relative positions of car and lane marks. REC was manipulated by moving either the iconical car (R-E compatible) or the lane marks (R-E incompatible) of the virtual lane assistant in response to participants directing the car from the side to the center of the lane. SRC was manipulated by presenting arrows pointing either in the to be moved or opposite direction, reflecting S-R compatible and incompatible conditions, respectively. Results showed faster and less error prone reactions in R-E compatible than in R-E incompatible trials, while SRC did neither influence reaction time nor error rates meaningfully. Our results strengthen previous results demonstrating REC with continuous and/or complex action effects and thus emphasize the importance of R-E compatible designs with direct implications for dynamic visual assistant systems.

Mar 22, 2022 12:00 AM — 12:00 AM