Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Factors & Systems


Human Factors and Systems

Committee Chair

Shawn Doherty, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dahai Liu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Hong Liu, Ph.D.


Automation management strategies can assist the operator in coordinating activity in automated systems. Baggage screening is a domain in which automation and alarms can be studied in terms of signal detection theory. Baggage screening is vital to national security and should be completed in a time efficient manner without compromising accuracy. In the present study, the automation management strategies of management by consent (MBC) and management by exception (MBE) were crossed with alarm modalities of a visual (flashing) or an auditory alert which served as redundant cues in a baggage screening task. A control base line condition existed in which participants received each automation strategy without an added alarm modality. Results failed to support multiple resource theory because significance was only found for modality in the comparison of overall reaction time and reaction time of automated false alarms. Yet significance was found between the automation management strategies. The time restraint that is inherent in a management by exception (MBE) strategy causes people to respond more quickly but less accurately than when compared to a management by consent (MBC) situation, even if participants are not as confident in their choice.