Student Pilot Project: Improving Data Validity in a Driving Simulator: Effects of Guided Practice in Older Adults on Simulator Handling Skills and Incidence of Simulator Sickness

University  Florida State University (FSU)
Principal Investigators  Rebekah Landbeck
PI Contact Information  Department of Psychology
Phone: 850. 645.8734
Funding Source(s)and Amounts  Provided(by each agency or organization)  USDOT: $32,100
Florida State University: $16,100
Total Project Cost  $48,200
Agency ID or Contract Number  DTRT13-G-UTC42-033177-036271
Start and End Dates 1/6/2015 - 2/8/2016
Brief Description of Research Project 

Although driving simulators are increasingly used in research because they allow precise investigation of critical issues which would be unsafe or impractical to study in the field, simulator studies can be costly due to high levels of data loss. These losses accrue when participants lack the skill to handle a simulator as if it were a real car or become sick and must discontinue participation. Older participants often suffer significant data losses, and it can be time consuming and expensive to recruit additional participants to replace lost data. During one such study, skill deficits in simulator handling were observed and a guided practice scenario developed to correct the issue. Resulting data were significantly more consistent and suggestive of increased skill. The current research proposes: to extend these findings among older adults to handling the simulator on curving roads and during turns at intersections; to determine whether an automated practice scenario can provide similar benefits; and explore whether the benefits of guided practice extend to reducing incidence of simulator sickness. Preventing data loss from data validity and simulator sickness issues would be of great benefit to researchers working in partnership with the ASAP Center and using simulators.

Describe Implementation of Research Outcomes (or why not implemented) Place Any Photos Here Pending project completion.
Impacts/Benefits of Implementation (actual, not anticipated) Pending project completion.
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