Effects of automation of information-processing functions on teamwork.


Journal Article

We investigated the effects of automation as applied to different stages of information processing on team performance in a complex decision-making task. Forty teams of 2 individuals performed a simulated Theater Defense Task. Four automation conditions were simulated with computer assistance applied to realistic combinations of information acquisition, information analysis, and decision selection functions across two levels of task difficulty. Multiple measures of team effectiveness and team coordination were used. Results indicated different forms of automation have different effects on teamwork. Compared with a baseline condition, an increase in automation of information acquisition led to an increase in the ratio of information transferred to information requested; an increase in automation of information analysis resulted in higher team coordination ratings; and automation of decision selection led to better team effectiveness under low levels of task difficulty but at the cost of higher workload. The results support the use of early and intermediate forms of automation related to acquisition and analysis of information in the design of team tasks. Decision-making automation may provide benefits in more limited contexts. Applications of this research include the design and evaluation of automation in team environments.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wright, MC; Kaber, DB

Published Date

  • 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 47 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 50 - 66

PubMed ID

  • 15960086

Pubmed Central ID

  • 15960086

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0018-7208

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1518/0018720053653776


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States