Date of Award

Fall 2002

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

Mark Wise, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Steve Hall, Ph.D.


Research indicates that hundreds of thousands of people are injured each year as a result of poor communication between medical personnel, warning label information, and consumers when taking over the counter or prescription medication. Typically, as adult's age, they are increasingly responsible for remembering the hazards of taking medications. If inadequate information exists in memory in regards to side effects, dosage, and other warnings, the likelihood of improper usage will increase. Because aging adults typically have a reduction in cognitive resources, it was hypothesized that older adults would require the aid of additional warning information to assist in the retrieval process of this information. Therefore, it was predicted that aging adults will be able to retrieve information at a better performance level with a redundant set of text and pictorial information as it relates to warning labels than younger adults.