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Ronald Andringa, Nelson Roque, Walter Boot; Exploring the Effect of Task Complexity, Presentation, and Input Device on the Near-Hands Advantage. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):648. doi: 10.1167/18.10.648.
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Previously presented research examined whether hand-proximity might benefit a complex real-world search task, TSA baggage screening. A near-hands advantage was not observed and follow-up work is presented exploring why this effect might have been absent. First, a lack of effect might have been related to the complexity of the search task compared to the more abstract and simple tasks used previously. Second, our TSA experiments had participants in the near-hands condition respond by using touchscreen buttons on a tablet rather than pushing buttons attached to the side of a computer monitor, a more typical response mode and grip posture. In a new experiment, participants were asked to complete a simpler change detection task similar to Tseng and Bridgeman (2011) but on a tablet computer, using postures and responses identical to our previous baggage screening experiments. Unlike Tseng and Bridgeman (2011), no near-hand advantage was observed with respect to change detection accuracy (hands-near vs. away, F(1, 50) = .37, p= .54). One possibility is that the grip posture associated with holding a tablet and using thumbs to push touchscreen buttons is not conducive to producing a near-hands advantage. A second experiment directly tested this hypothesis with a direct replication of Tseng and Bridgeman (2011) in which participants responded to stimuli presented on a CRT monitor using buttons attached to the side of the display. Still, no near-hands advantage was observed (F(1,47) =.047, p = .83). In general, our results point to the idea that the near-hands advantage may be very sensitive to small differences in procedure, which may have important implications for harnessing the near-hands advantage to produce better performance outside of the laboratory.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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