Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Nathan L. Tenhundfeld

Committee Member

Ewart J. de Visser

Committee Member

Jodi L. Price


Attention., Visual perception., Visual discrimination.


This study examined the influences of trust in automation and working memory capacity (WMC) on inattentional blindness (IB) in a supervisory control task. Participants completed 160 trials of a simulated X-ray screening task. Participants visually searched images of baggage for hazardous items and chose whether to clear or search the baggage. Participants were assisted by an 80% reliable automated aid. Participants’ performance was worse on unreliable recommendation trials, indicating participants were biased to agree with the automation. When participants (58.33%) chose to clear the trial which featured the IB stimulus (a bomb), it was interpreted as IB. Results indicated WMC and trust in automation were unrelated, and neither were significant predictors of IB. These findings indicate that IB may not be based upon individual cognitive differences, such as WMC and trust in automation, and highlight the need for future research to utilize psychometrically valid measures of trust in automation.



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