Obtaining Objective Measurements of Reaction Times to Auditory Alarms
Neubauer, Andrew George
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Several pulse parameters that were believed to affect response time to auditory alarms were investigated in a factorial experiment. 18 subjects, (14 male, 4 female), participated in an experiment where the effects of inter-pulse interval (125, 250, and 500 milliseconds) and pulse format (sine, sawtooth, and square waves) on both self-reported ratings of workload and reaction time to alarms (auditory and visual) were explored. The results show that alarms with a shorter inter-pulse interval produced the fastest reaction times. Subjective preferences were rated as equal. Accuracy was equal across groups as measured by amount of errors in responding to auditory alarms. A tracking task was included as a second task and the results showed significant differences between groups. Subjective ratings of workload were also collected and showed no significant differences between groups. The results were interpreted in light of their significance for the development of auditory alarms for the Checkout and Launch Control Systems (CLCS) at Kennedy Space Center (KSC).