Individual Differences in Tracking

Miyake, S., Loslever, P., & Hancock, P.A. (2001). Individual differences in tracking. Ergonomics, 44(12), 1056-1068.

The present experiment compared differences in response strategy of participants performing a two-dimensional tracking task at three different levels of task difficulty. Twelve participants tracked an iconic aeroplane target as accurately as possible for nine repeated trials each of 5 min duration. The random input and individual response output were calculated in terms of direction and velocity. Specifically, for each 200-ms sample period, a calculated combination of eight trajectories and three velocities provided a 24 combinatorial description of both random input and participant response. Distributions across these combinations represent descriptive results and reflect individual characteristics. The distributions were compared using the technique of correspondence factor analysis. The outcome of this multidimensional method was that first, between-participants discrimination was best served by the up-vertical and low-velocity combination and, second, that the former pattern typified poor performers, while more skilled individuals used all directional options at the highest velocity level. Implications for individualized controls are examined.

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