Attentional control and piloting experience

Mingpo Tham, Arthur F Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article


The present study investigated differences in attentional abilities between student and instructor pilots. Twenty-four student and thirty-one instructor pilots were administered a battery of attention tasks in an effort to determine whether attentional abilities would co-vary with the level of piloting experience. The tasks that the pilots performed included: the response compatibility task, the negative priming task, the inhibition of return task, a timesharing task, feature and conjunction visual search tasks, and the dichotic listening task. Instructor pilots displayed evidence of more efficient task switching, and focused attention than novice pilots. On the other hand, instructors and student pilots were equally facile at visual scanning and covert shifts of spatial attention. The results of the study suggest that novice and experienced pilots differ across a variety of attentional operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-35
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
StatePublished - Dec 1 1994
EventProceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Part 2 (of 2) - Nashville, TN, USA
Duration: Oct 24 1994Oct 28 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics

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