CASkade Automation Study

TITLE OF STUDY: Cognitive Performance & Decision Making


SPONSOR OF PROJECT: Office of Naval Research (ONR)

WHY AM I BEING INVITED TO TAKE PART IN THIS RESEARCH? The general goal of this research is to better understand the way that people process information and reach decisions, and how their performance might be best supported with automated systems.


WHAT WILL I BE ASKED TO DO? You will be shown information on a computer screen that may include a task like tracking the heading of an object, deciding which of a set of alternatives represents the best choice, remembering lists of words, pictures, or diagrams. You may be asked to do just one task or you may be asked to do several tasks at the same time. In some experiments your performance might be aided by an automated system. This system might highlight information, suggest an option, or hold information for your later use.

1 Hour Session Version (1 credits)

This experiment will be conducted in sessions lasting 90 minutes or less.

CAN MY TAKING PART IN THE STUDY END EARLY? Your participation in this study will end if (a) you are not responding in a serious way, or (b) if you are not on time for your scheduled session.

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE RISKS AND DISCOMFORTS? There are no known risks involved in participation in this project. It is not possible to identify all potential risks in research procedures, but the researcher(s) have taken reasonable safeguards to minimize any known and potential, but unknown, risks.

ARE THERE ANY BENEFITS FROM TAKING PART IN THIS STUDY? There are no direct benefits from participating in this study. However, by virtue of participating, you will gain some insights into the types of techniques being used in current research in cognitive psychology and other areas of psychology.

DO I HAVE TO TAKE PART IN THE STUDY? Your participation in this research is voluntary. If you decide to participate in the study, you may withdraw your consent and stop participating at any time without penalty or loss of benefits to which you are otherwise entitled.

We will keep private all research records that identify you, to the extent allowed by law.

Your data will be collected anonymously, and identified and stored using a random subject number.

You will login to the psychology department server at the end of the study session to receive your research credit, or provide information to verify your participation, but this identifying information is collected entirely separately from the data collected during the actual study. Your responses in the experiment will be combined with information from other people taking part in the study. When we write about the study to share it with other researchers, we will write about the combined information we have gathered. You will not be identified in these written materials. We may publish the results of this study; however, we will keep you name and other identifying information private.

WILL I RECEIVE ANY COMPENSATION FOR TAKING PART IN THIS STUDY? You will receive 1 [one] research participation credit for this study.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM INJURED BECAUSE OF THE RESEARCH? The Colorado Governmental Immunity Act determines and may limit Colorado State University's legal responsibility if an injury happens because of this study. Claims against the University must be filed within 180 days of the injury.

WHAT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS? Before you decide whether to accept this invitation to take part in the study, please ask any questions that might come to mind now. Later, if you have questions about the study, you can contact the investigator, Ben Clegg at If you have any questions about your rights as a volunteer in this research, contact CSU IRB at; 970- 491-1553. We will give you a copy of this consent form to take with you.

WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW? You will receive a debriefing at the end of your participation in the study.

Clicking on the button below implies your consent for data on your responses to be collected.

If you wish to participate in this research, please check the below check-box.



Imagine you are taking command of an ocean-going ship, the USS Lexington. As its captain you are directly responsible for the well-being of both the ship and its crew, and in particular avoiding collisions with other ships in your area of operations.

In this experiment you will view a radar display of your ship and another and be presented with 40 trials. On each trial it is possible a collision could occur between your ship and another cargo ship. As you watch the paths of the ships, if you feel it is possible the two ships will collide, you should PAUSE the scenario and alter the course direction of your ship to avoid the collision. If you do not pause, the path of your ship will not be changed. The movement in each scenario is timed, and will automatically end in 40 seconds.

If you decide to turn, you get one chance to steer your ship. In the controls you can:

In choosing when and how to maneuver, while avoiding a collision is most important, you also need to consider that ideally you want to stay as close to the original course to your destination as you safely can , thereby saving fuel. Electing to turn 15 degrees in either direction will keep you closer to your original course, however you may decide it is safer to maneuver your ship 30 degrees in either direction to increase safety. You should also adhere to the rules of the road of steering a ship, which dictate that if it is safer to do so, you should pass behind the cargo ship.

Your ship will be represented by a pink triangular shape. The cargo ship is represented by a red triangular shape. They will both be moving slowly. A green circular marker represents your destination. A black bar is shown that illustrates the minimum safe distance two ships should be apart. In the best case scenario, your ship will arrive at the destination just as time expires.

At the end of each trial, you will be given feedback on your performance for that trial based on three factors:

At the beginning of the subsequent trial, you will be given your cumulative score over all previous trials. Your goal is to earn a high score.

To assist your decision-making process, you have access to the new Collision Avoidance System. This automation system, CASkade, provides advice for the optimal turn direction to avoid a collision and maximize the miss distance, and, if possible, adhere to the rules of the road. This advice will be presented at the 16 second mark and you will need to make your decision before the 24 second mark. This gives you 8 seconds to make a course correction. You will need to make your decision within this time frame. We request that you wait to make your decision until you see the Caskade reccomendation. Additionally, CASkade's advice was retrieved from optimal maneuvers executed at the 16 second mark. Advice will become less useful later in the scenario.

While CASkade provides valuable advice on how to avoid a collision, like automation in the real world, it is not perfect and sometimes may be incorrect. Therefore you should use your own judgement to determine the best course of action.

To the right of the display are the controls. In this area, you have the ability to manipulate directional change, these are represented as 5 radio buttons above a steering wheel. You must first press the pause button. THEN Select the appropriate radio button to command a turn to the left or right. You will see your ship start to turn immediately. Remember, you cannot change your controls unless the game is paused. After you are finished making changes to your controls you will resume the game by pressing the resume game button (same as the pause game button). Below your directional controls, you will see the "Pause/Resume Game" button. In the box below, you have the CASkade informational display, which is designed to offer the advice on what the safest maneuver potentially is, while also considering the rules of the road. Finally, you will see the final miss distance, and current score below.

Even if you decide to continue on a straight path, you still need to pause the game when you make that decision, then resume it without commanding a turn. This will ensure your decision is recorded by the program! If you don't pause the game you will recieve a zero score on that trial.

Note: you cannot change the speed of the Lexington, only the direction the ship is moving! And you only have one opportunity to take control.

Before making a course correction, you should keep in mind a few maritime navigation rules – the "rules of the road" for ships.

You may adjust your course only once. You should adjust your course if you believe that there is danger of a collision. After making your course corrections, and pressing the "resume" button, the scenario will run to completion.

If you collide with the cargo ship, the ships will cease movement, and the scenario will pause until the remaining time has expired. If you crash, you will recieve a zero score on that trial.

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Press the button below to Begin


Press the "Pause Game" button to pause the game while you make changes.

Press it again to resume the game.

*Default settings: 0° heading, 80% throttle.

CASkade Recommendation


Thank you for your participation!

Please read the instructions below to ensure that you have completed this study and RECIEVE CREDIT FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION.

Participant ID

Total Score

Below are 5 questions pertaining to the experiment you just participated in, please answer them on a scale from 1-10, 1 being "Not at all", and 10 being "Always".

1. Did you trust the automated system to give accurate advice?

2. Did you follow the advice given by the automation?

3. Did you ever feel like the automation was less accurate than 90%?

4. Did you find yourself prioritizing the rules of the road given to you over the advice provided by the automation?

5. Did you find that the automation helped you navigate compared to having no aid at all?


*** If you are completing this survey for PSY100 or PSY250 credit, you must CLICK THIS LINK to record your attendance. Your survey answers are not linked to your identity, so if you do not visit the link, your attendance will not be recorded. ***