Effects of workload preview on task scheduling during simulated instrument flight.Int J Aviat Psychol. 1995; 5(1):5-23.IJ
Our study examined pilot scheduling behavior in the context of simulated instrument flight. Over the course of the flight, pilots flew along specified routes while scheduling and performing several flight-related secondary tasks. The first phase of flight was flown under low-workload conditions, whereas the second phase of flight was flown under high-workload conditions in the form of increased turbulence and a disorganized instrument layout. Six pilots were randomly assigned to each of three workload preview groups. Subjects in the no-preview group were not given preview of the increased-workload conditions. Subjects in the declarative preview group were verbally informed of the nature of the flight workload manipulation but did not receive any practice under the high-workload conditions. Subjects in the procedural preview group received the same instructions as the declarative preview group but also flew half of the practice flight under the high-workload conditions. The results show that workload preview fostered efficient scheduling strategies. Specifically, those pilots with either declarative or procedural preview of future workload demands adopted an efficient strategy of scheduling more of the difficult secondary tasks during the low-workload phase of flight. However, those pilots given a procedural preview showed the greatest benefits in overall flight performance.