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Costs in searching for two targets: dividing search across target types could improve airport security screening

Menneer, Tamaryn, Barrett, Doug J.K., Phillips, Luke, Donnelly, Nick and Cave, Kyle R. (2007) Costs in searching for two targets: dividing search across target types could improve airport security screening Applied Cognitive Psychology, 21, (7), pp. 915-932. (doi:10.1002/acp.1305).

Record type: Article


The cost of searching for two visual targets simultaneously was compared against two separate single-target searches using exposure time and accuracy measures within a staircase procedure. Dual-target search for all stimuli (colour, shape and orientation) exhibited a loss of accuracy for one target. For orientation and shape, this dual-target cost in accuracy was extreme, with chance-level performance on one target. For colour, dual-target search exhibited an additional cost in search time, with search requiring a longer exposure than the summed time required for two single-target searches. An additional search-time cost was also found for orientation targets when irrelevant colour variation was added to the display. In conclusion, dual-target search for dissimilar targets is accompanied by an accuracy cost. Furthermore, colour variation, whether task-relevant or not, leads to an additional cost in processing speed. The results suggest that a divided-effort strategy would improve performance in search tasks such as X-ray baggage screening.

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Published date: November 2007


Local EPrints ID: 45058
ISSN: 0888-4080
PURE UUID: 25019f3b-0a2e-4151-af16-f0498e58692b

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Date deposited: 26 Mar 2007
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:13

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Author: Tamaryn Menneer
Author: Doug J.K. Barrett
Author: Luke Phillips
Author: Nick Donnelly
Author: Kyle R. Cave

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