The effect of depth on the useful field of view
The useful field of view (UFOV) test is a popular measure of visual attention and is often applied to everyday tasks. One aspect of the real world that is not tested by this measure is the influence of depth on the allocation of attention. Previous research has shown that depth does influence some aspects of spatial attention, and capturing that effect in the UFOV test is important, as depth is inherent in real-world environments and tasks. One real-world task to which the UFOV has often been related is driving, and previous research has shown a strong relationship between UFOV performance and crash risk. Understanding the influence of depth may increase the ecological validly of this test, since, in the roadway environment, depth plays a very important role in successful navigation and hazard avoidance. The goal of this dissertation is to evaluate the influence of depth on the UFOV and apply it to a measure of driving performance. Experiment 1 evaluated the effect of depth on the UFOV through three studies that varied how the depth of peripheral targets was displayed. The first tested the effect when the depth was known before the targets were displayed for divided and selective attention subtasks. The second evaluated this effect when depth was unknown before the targets were displayed for divided and selective attention subtasks. The third evaluated the cost of dividing attention in depth with modifications of the divided attention subtask. The results suggest that depth does have an effect on the allocation of attention in the UFOV test, particularly in the divided attention tasks. Since driving performance is generally the application of the UFOV, Experiment 2 evaluated the predictive power of the 3D UFOV test to a video-based hazard perception test. The results did not show a relationship between the two measures. Practical and theoretical implications of the role of depth on attention and how its application can be tested are discussed.
Thesis (Ph.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Psychology