Improving Data Validity in a Driving Simulator: Effects of Guided Practice in Older Adults on Simulator Handling Skill and Incidence of Simulator Sickness

University  Florida State University (FSU)
Principal Investigators  Rebekah S. 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 01/06/2015 – 05/06/2016
Brief Description of Research Project 

Driving simulator studies are an important tool for examining safety issues while minimizing risk to participants, and are especially valuable when studying older drivers. However, older drivers often do not have much experience with virtual environments, and the current experiment (N = 115) explored the questions of whether older drivers who have not used a driving simulator previously are able to drive a simulator in a realistic manner, whether skills training in the form of guided practice with feedback can enable them to do so, and whether lack of skill in driving a simulator poses a threat to external validity. Results indicate that practice without feedback provided no benefit relative to a group who had no practice, with over half the data from those groups being invalid. The groups which received guided practice had higher proportions of valid data, with the group receiving interactive, automated feedback performing as well as the reference group of younger drivers. Subject to extending these findings to multiple experimental designs, the results strongly support the need for brief, focused training in simulator handling skills, with feedback provided during practice, for older participants in driving simulator studies.

Describe Implementation of Research Outcomes (or why not implemented) Place Any Photos Here Final Report
Impacts/Benefits of Implementation (actual, not anticipated) See Final Report