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IJHCI Tables of Contents: 010203040506070809101112131415

International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction 5

Editors:Gavriel Salvendy
Publisher:Ablex Publishing Corporation
Standard No:ISSN 1044-7318
Links:Table of Contents
  1. IJHCI 1993 Volume 5 Issue 1
  2. IJHCI 1993 Volume 5 Issue 2
  3. IJHCI 1993 Volume 5 Issue 3
  4. IJHCI 1993 Volume 5 Issue 4

IJHCI 1993 Volume 5 Issue 1


Stress Reactions to Computer-Interactive Tasks as a Function of Task Structure and Individual Differences BIBA 1-22
  Sara J. Czaja; Joseph Sharit
The resurgence of interest in occupational stress has resulted in an emphasis on identifying work conditions that are potentially causal in generating stress reactions and psychological disorders among workers. Although a considerable knowledge base related to this topic has evolved, relatively little is known regarding the impact of computer technology on incidence of job stress. This issue is especially important for older workers, given the increased use of computers in most occupations, the aging of the workforce, and the changes in cognitive and physiological capacities that occur with increased age. The study reported in this article was concerned with developing a methodology to evaluate stress for computer-interactive tasks as a function of the mental workload of the task and the age of the individual. Sixty-five women ranging in age from 25 to 70 years performed three computer-interactive tasks that varied as a function of information processing complexity and pacing requirements. The methodology encompassed physiological, subjective, and performance measures. Results indicated differences in sensitivity among the measures as a function of task and age. The data also indicated age differences in stress reactions and performance. The findings are discussed in terms of the suitability of computer tasks for older people.
Applications of Psychology to Computer-Based Tutoring Systems BIBA 23-40
  Dan Milech; Kim Kirsner; Geoffrey Roy; Brook Waters
Recent theory and research in psychology suggests that computer-managed tutoring systems should have two goals. One goal should be to impact knowledge, that is, the rules or algorithms that lead to optimal performance of the task in question. A second goal should be to teach novices to represent or use this knowledge in the way that an expert would, and this involves more than simply teaching rules. A brief review of selected tutoring systems shows that current systems have contrasting strengths and weaknesses. Intelligent tutoring systems are relatively good in imparting knowledge but poor at teaching appropriate knowledge representations, whereas simulation-based tutoring systems that provide exploratory learning environments may be poor at imparting knowledge, but are likely to be good at teaching appropriate knowledge representations. We conclude with a very general description of a hybrid tutoring system that aims to accomplish both goals.
New Goals for HCI Training: How to Mix Old and New Skills in the Trainee BIBA 41-69
  Craig P. Speelman; Kim Kirsner
The development of human-computer interaction systems and the acquisition of skills associated with such systems typically occur in the context of previous experience. What is learned in one situation may facilitate or impede learning in another situation. The aim of this article is to discuss the role of experience in human-computer interaction. The ACT* theory of skill acquisition and transfer is extended to account for the effects of old skills on the learning of new tasks. The extended model predicts a number of changes in performance that will occur when a new task involves the combination of old and new skills, including the suggestion that the learning rate of the new task will be slower than the rate at which the old skills were originally acquired. Two experiments are reported, the results of which support most of the model's predictions. The results also suggest that the minimum performance time of a task may be increased if performance of the task involves combining old and new skills. Implications of the effects of such combinations are considered with respect to the best methods of training for human-computer interaction systems and the development of such systems.
Application of Theories of Decision Making to Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS) BIBA 71-94
  Clare Pollock; Andrew Kanachowski
This article identifies the need to support group decision making in a business context and the potential for such support from information technology. The article reviews existing systems that are intended to support the group decision process: Group Decision Support Systems or GDSSs. One GDSS in particular is used as an illustration of some of the general features of GDSSs in the latter part of the article. It is noted that existing GDSSs are based on normative models of decision making, and therefore, decision-making theories from decision science are briefly reviewed. It is argued that GDSSs have failed to be universally successful and that one reason for this lack of success could be due to ignoring peoples' actual decision-making behaviour. To illustrate how peoples' performance on decision-making tasks differs from that given by normative theories, evidence from the cognitive psychology literature is presented. The implications of the cognitive psychology literature for supporting decisions through information technology are discussed. The article concludes that the indiscriminate application of normative theories to the design of systems may be inappropriate if people do not behave according to the normative principles, and that systems can be improved by integrating descriptive and normative theories.

Book Review

"Systems that Support Decision Makers: Description and Analysis," by Mark S. Silver BIB 95-96
  Liwana S. Bringelson

IJHCI 1993 Volume 5 Issue 2


Pool Size, Job Stressors, and Health Problems: A Study of Data Entry Clerks BIBA 101-113
  Andre Billette; Renaud Bouchard
A study was conducted of the health problems of two groups of data entry clerks drawn from 39 government agencies' pools. One group was formed of 182 clerks who worked in large pools, whereas the second one was composed of 87 clerks in small pools. The clerks who worked in large pools were characterized by a higher rate of occurrence of symptoms of mental health problems (measured by the Ilfeld Index), as well as a higher degree of use of sleeping pills and tranquilizers, than those who worked in the small pools. The effect of pool size was indirect and originated from the more intense job stressors found in the large pools: greater pressure to increase output, more fragmented work, and bureaucratic work relationships. A more extensive analysis showed the lack of recognition and mobility as a characteristic of all work pools and a major factor of mental health problems.
The Relationship between Post-Task and Continuous-Vicarious Ratings of Difficulty BIBA 115-127
  Richard E. Cordes
A study was conducted that used continuous-vicarious ratings (CVRs) of difficulty to investigate how people make judgments of task difficulty. Twelve people performed five editing tasks using a text editor. After each task, the participants rated the overall difficulty they experienced in performing the task. They then viewed a videotape of their performance. While the participants were viewing the tape, they were asked to rate continuously the difficulty they felt they had experienced at that moment when performing the task. From this curve of difficulty over time, seven variables were obtained as possible candidates in predicting their overall task-difficulty ratings. It was found that the contrast between the maximum or peak of the continuous rating and the mean difficulty level best accounted for the post-task ratings of difficulty, followed by the time it took to perform a task. In other words, the more the peak difficulty stood out from the background average-difficulty level combined with the more time spent performing a task, the higher the participants rated their overall task difficulty. A three-variable (maximum difficulty, mean difficulty, and time) power-function model was developed that best predicted the post-task difficulty ratings. The terms in this model were statistically significant and accounted for 63% of the variability in the task-difficulty ratings. These results imply that human factors practitioners may be more effective focusing on and improving what people judge to be the most difficult aspects of an interface. Indeed, the results suggest that concentrating on other areas to improve an interface may actually cause an increase in perceived difficulty simply because the problem causing the peak difficulty has become more salient.
The Role of Previous Questions and Answers in Natural Language Dialogues with Computers BIBA 129-145
  Andrew Patrick; Wendy Jacques-Locmelis; Thomas Whalen
An important factor for determining the success of any natural language program is the variability in the users' questions that must be handled by the system. Thus, it is important to find methods of measuring and handling this variability. In this article we examine the tendency for subjects to use the topics and terms introduced in the computer's answers in forming their questions. It is shown that the last and next-to-last answers have a strong effect on the questions users ask. It is also shown that although users often do ask questions that are related to their previous questions, the most frequent case is for users to introduce new questions related to the computer's answers. Thus, the effect of the computer's answers is stronger than the effect of users' own questions when forming new questions. Finally, it is shown that the accuracy of the computer's responses in answering the questions has important effects on the tendency to use previous questions and answers. These results suggest that natural language systems that take advantage of these features of human-computer interaction may be successful.
Transfer of Knowledge Across Computer Command Menus BIBA 147-165
  John B. Smelcer; Neff Walker
Two experiments are reported that examine the effects of menu organization and command naming on performance within and across computer command menus. The work on performance within menus extends prior work on information retrieval (IR) menus to computer command menus. We found that selection of computer commands conforms to the same laws that govern selection of IR categories and object names, with alphabetic organization leading to shorter search times in early trials when users knew the names of the commands. When users did not know the exact names of the commands, the functional organization led to shorter search times. More importantly, we found that the knowledge of the functional organization transferred from one application menu to another, thereby reducing search time in the menu of the second application.
A Complexity Measure of Task Content in Information-Input Tasks BIBA 167-188
  Katsuhiko Ogawa
This article presents a measure of the task complexity a human operator faces while inputting information. The measure, called task-content complexity (TCC), depends only on the complexity of the task content. A human-computer information-transmission model is proposed to clarify task complexity. It is shown that the model has three hierarchical levels of task complexities: the computer device (hardware), the computer software, and the task content. The model provides a definition of task content and the concept of the TCC measure. It is theoretically proven that the TCC measure is related to the task content, and is independent of the computer system used. Experiments based on graphical information-input tasks confirm that the TCC measures of the same task using two different computer systems are almost equal. They also confirm the strong relationship between the TCC measure and the cognitive complexity of the task the operator performs. The TCC measure will be very useful in the design of computer tasks and in the evaluation and the usability rating of computer systems.
Cognitive Processes in Software Fault Detection: A Review and Synthesis BIBA 189-206
  David B. Bisant; Lowell Groninger
The authors discuss empirical research about the cognitive structures and strategies used by programmers during fault location. Empirical evidence indicates the cognitive processes involved in fault detection consist of a comprehension process and a fault location process. The two processes are distinct and separate. The comprehension process is extremely important and was found to be superior in experts due to the semantic encoding they utilize. The semantic representations used by experts consist of abstract hierarchies based on functional meaning. Fault location is less important and usually takes the form of hand simulation or causal reasoning. The fault locating strategies used by experts and novices were similar. The better debugging performance by experts is due to their superior abilities at comprehension. Research indicates that the semantic organizations used by experts can be successfully taught to novices and used by them to improve performance.
   The authors also examine two methods, slicing and team reviews, which seek to improve the debugging process. Each was found to affect comprehension and fault location differently. A review of slicing research revealed that it is performed during the fault location process, and does not apply to the comprehension process as some believe. Automating slicing was found to be a technique with potential benefits for debugging. The survey of the team dynamics during inspections and other reviews found them to be effective by enhancing the comprehension process, by improving fault location, and by providing more than one chance to catch each error.

IJHCI 1993 Volume 5 Issue 3


A Comparative Review of Knowledge Structure Measurement Techniques for Interface Design BIBA 211-237
  Darel V. Benysh; Richard J. Koubek; Vance Calvez
Recent research suggests that the structure of user knowledge, in addition to the content, is a significant determinant of user behavior in computer-oriented tasks. The purpose of this article is to provide the researcher in human-computer interaction with a comparative review of available knowledge structure measurement techniques and to summarize their potential application for aiding the designer at various stages of interface design. Three general classes of techniques are identified: verbal reports, clustering, and scaling. Each group is reviewed according to (1) the manner in which concepts and relationships are elicited, (2) the method used to derive the knowledge structure, and (3) procedures used to analyze the knowledge structure. With this information, the human-computer interface designer can more effectively use these techniques for their particular application.
Measurements of Computer Anxiety: A Review BIBA 239-266
  Mary J. LaLomia; Joseph B. Sidowski
The objective of this article is to present a review and discussion of scales and questionnaires developed to assess computer anxiety. Included are descriptions of the scales, scale development procedures, and reliability and validity testing. Research questions generated and examined with the scales are also included. Finally, problems with reliability and validity testing are presented along with an assessment of future directions of computer anxiety research.
Operation of Ternary Chorded Keys BIBA 267-288
  K. H. E. Kroemer
Operation of the ternary chord keyboard (TCK) requires fast and finely controlled force and displacement by the fingertips in a horizontal plane -- that is, rocking instead of the familiar tapping of keys. Associated human motoric abilities relate to finger movement directions, force capabilities, and responses to displayed stimuli. Underlying mental tasks are memorization of the chords for each character to be generated and control of simultaneous fingertip movements.
   Experiments were performed: (1) on a TCK prototype to measure the time needed to learn its operation and to assess keying performance, and (2) on specially designed experimental apparatus to measure finger mobility, strength, and speed. The results indicate that finger mobility, strength, and tapping performance were not well correlated with keying performance and that the TCK principle is feasible.
Design of an Alternative Keyboard Layout for the Greek Language BIBA 289-310
  Nicolas Marmaras; Kostas Lyritzis
This study constitutes a first attempt to design an alternative keyboard layout for the Greek language that satisfies ergonomic requirements. The criticisms leveled at the standard keyboard layout, the opportunities offered by recent changes in the technology of editing devices, and the increasing number of new keyboard users are among the reasons justifying this study. Ten ergonomic requirements were considered during the design process. The designed keyboard layout was compared to the standard Greek keyboard by two different evaluations. The first evaluation, which was analytical, was based on the ergonomic requirements and the frequencies of letters and digrams in the Greek language. The second evaluation, which was experimental, was aimed at comparing the typing performance as well as the ease of learning of the two keyboard layouts. The results showed that: (1) the designed keyboard layout satisfies the ergonomic requirements much better, and (2) there were no significant differences in the typing performance between the two keyboards, for equal typing training and for small typing periods. It is concluded that the improved layout could be used as a programmed alternative alongside the standard keyboard.

IJHCI 1993 Volume 5 Issue 4


Visual Comfort in Using Different VDT Screens BIBA 313-323
  Susumu Saito; Sasitorn Taptagaporn; Gavriel Salvendy
In order to meet the goal of user comfort of information displays, visual problems of video display terminal (VDT) work were studied through the analysis of visual functions in two experiments. Eye movement analysis, in Experiment 1, revealed that VDT operators had to move their eyes 2.5 times faster than traditional clerical workers. Lens accommodation, pupil size, and subjective visual comfort were investigated in Experiment 2. A significant correlation was found between the velocity of lens accommodation and the subjective visual comfort while viewing seven different displays (r = .809). A positive-type cathode-ray tube (CRT), which has dark characters on a light background, was ascertained to be the most appropriate display type, while working with a liquid crystal display (LCD) was considered to be the least visually comfortable, with the lowest accommodative velocity.
The Structure and Content of Programming Knowledge: Disentangling Training and Language Effects in Theories of Skill Development BIBA 325-346
  Simon P. Davies
This article reviews the extensive literature emerging from studies concerned with skill acquisition and the development of knowledge representation in programming. In particular, it focuses upon theories of program comprehension that suggest programming knowledge can be described in terms of stereotypical knowledge structures that can in some way capture programming expertise independently of the programming language used and in isolation from a programmer's specific training experience. An attempt is made to demonstrate why existing views are inappropriate. On the one hand, programs are represented in terms of a variety of formal notations ranging from the quasi-mathematical to the near textual. It is argued that different languages may lead to different forms of knowledge representation, perhaps emphasizing certain structures at the expense of others or facilitating particular strategies. On the other hand, programmers are typically taught problem-solving techniques that suggest a strict approach to problem decomposition. Hence, it seems likely that another factor that may mediate the development of knowledge representation, and that has not received significant attention elsewhere, is related to the training experience that programmers typically encounter. In this article, recent empirical studies that have addressed these issues are reviewed, and the implications of these studies for theories of skill acquisition and for knowledge representation are discussed. In conclusion, a more extensive account of knowledge representation in programming is presented that emphasizes training effects and the role played by specific language features in the development of knowledge representation within the programming domain.
Performance Comparison of Multiple Image Depth and Shape Cues BIBA 347-360
  Stephen J. Adelson; Jeanette Allen; Albert N. Badre; Larry F. Hodges; Andrea Lawrence
This research has implications for tasks in human-computer interaction where the user must interact with display information that is organized on multiple axes. We describe the results of an experiment that compared the effectiveness of five different techniques for shape and depth discrimination. The methods evaluated were binocular parallax, alternating horizontal parallax, alternating vertical parallax, motion parallax, and motion parallax in conjunction with the Pulfrich effect. Binocular parallax, closely followed by motion parallax and the Pulfrich effect, was most effective for the depth discrimination task in terms of both correctness and response time. Alternating parallax techniques provided cues for distinguishing between foreground and background in a scene but did not provide cues that were intuitively translated into depth. Response time of subjects for the shape discrimination task was fastest with alternating parallax. For depth discrimination, subjects preferred binocular parallax. For shape discrimination, binocular parallax and motion parallax were both highly rated.
Visualization of 3-D Computer-Aided Design Objects BIBA 361-382
  Jennie J. Gallimore; Michael E. Brown
There are many significant human factors issues associated with the design and visualization of complex, computer-generated images. One such issue is to determine the most effective techniques for providing engineers with realistic three-dimensional (3-D) objects. Differences in subjects' ability to discriminate between the shape of two 3-D, perspective, computer-aided design-type (CAD-type) objects were investigated for various levels of monocular coding techniques and the binocular cue stereopsis. Performance was assessed at all combinations of five levels of monocular cues and two levels of disparity. The task was similar to the classic mental rotation paradigm except that subjects were provided with the ability to rotate one of the objects using a two-dimensional (2-D) joystick. Results indicate that interposition was the only depth cue that significantly enhanced subject performance. One explanation for the lack of significance of stereopsis is that, for this particular task, depth information provided by disparity was not needed. Detailed analysis of object rotation data using an orientation index (OI) suggests that subjects employed a feature-by-feature comparison task strategy. With tools that can evaluate cognitive activity such as the mental rotation paradigm and orientation index, researchers can learn more about how designers visualize and understand 3-D CAD objects.
Multipoint Scales: Mean and Median Differences and Observed Significance Levels BIBA 383-392
  James R. Lewis
Researchers in human-computer interaction (HCI) often use discrete multipoint scales (such as 5- or 7-point scales) to measure user satisfaction and preference. Many knowledgeable authors state that the median is the appropriate measure of central tendency for such ordinal scales, although others challenge this assertion. This article introduces a new point of view, based on a human factors consideration. When decision makers read a usability report or attend a briefing, they may make decisions based on the magnitude of the difference between the measures of central tendency for key dependent variables. A major criterion that should affect the choice of presenting means or medians is the strength of the relationship between this difference and the observed significance levels of appropriate statistical tests. The results from two series of "real-world" usability studies showed that the mean difference correlated more than the median difference with the observed significance levels (both parametric and nonparametric) for discrete multipoint scale data. Therefore, for these scales in this measurement context, the mean can be a better measure of central tendency than the median. The results also provided evidence that mean differences for 7-point scales correlate more strongly with observed significance levels than those for 5-point scales.
The Effects of Running Fewer Subjects on Time-on-Task Measures BIBA 393-403
  Richard E. Cordes
There is a desire to streamline the development design process by conducting usability evaluations with fewer subjects. This study examined the impact of using fewer subjects on the accuracy and stability of the mean and median. Monte Carlo simulations were conducted to model the skewed task-completion times typically found in usability studies. The results showed that the mean was a more accurate estimate of its respective population parameter than the median and should be the preferred metric in usability evaluations. However, the mean cannot always be used because it will underestimate the population mean when there are missing data as a result of subjects exceeding time limits. Alternatively, it was found that the median tended to consistently overestimate the population median by as much as 10% in one examined case. The average 95% confidence limits of both estimates were quite broad, particularly for the smaller sample sizes. Based on these results, it was concluded that with reduced sample sizes (e.g., 5), we are not able to measure population parameters with either a high degree of confidence or, in the case of medians, with any accuracy. It was recommended that usability measurements take a back seat to usability testing when conducting tests with small sample sizes.

Book Reviews

"People and Computers VII," edited by A. Monk, D. Diaper, and M. D. Harrison BIB 405-407
  Cortney G. Vargo
"On-Line Help: Design and Evaluation," by T. M. Duffy, J. E. Palmer, and B. Mehlenbacher BIB 405-407
  Cortney G. Vargo
Report on HCI International'93 BIBA 409-410
  Gavriel Salvendy
The conference was organized under the auspices of four boards consisting of 98 distinguished members from 27 countries. The conference had an organizational board and three technical boards responsible for the technical content in the areas of work with display units, human-computer interaction, and management of information technology. There were 26 major professional organizations and governmental institutions that cooperated with the conference.
   About 1,900 people submitted their work for consideration of presentation at the conference. Of those, 376 were accepted for parallel presentations and 231 for poster presentations. The conference started with a 2 1/2-day preconference tutorial in which 15 subject areas were covered in half-day and full-day tutorials. Subjects ranged from computer graphics, knowledge visualization, next-generation interfaces, to musculoskeletal disorders when working with computers, voice communications, and innovations in human-computer interfaces in Japan. All the tutorials were well attended, averaging about 40 participants per tutorial. The conference had over 800 participants from 43 countries. The three distinguished plenary speakers were Yuichiro Anzai on "Human-Robot-Computer Interaction in Multiagent Environment," Hans-Jorg Bullinger on "Human-Computer Interaction and Lean Management," and Thomas Malone on "How Will Information Technology Change the Ways We Work Together?"
   The conference presentations have been published in three volumes with two hardcover volumes published by Elsevier covering 2,300 pages. The first volume deals with software and hardware interfaces in HCI whereas the second volume deals with applications and case studies in HCI. The third volume is a softcover book with 313 pages and provides a summary of all the accepted presentations for late-breaking news in the poster session. At the conference there were 49 papers dealing with help and training, 47 with multi-media, 40 on special applications in a variety of diversified settings, 40 in psychosocial and stress issues, 39 with software knowledge, 32 with software tools, 25 in user issues, 20 in case studies, 19 with hardware interfaces, 18 in manufacturing, 14 in health issues, 13 in methodologies, and 5 in longitudinal studies.
Note: 5th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction held jointly with 9th Symposium on Human Interface (Japan) August 8-13, 1993 Orlando, Florida, USA