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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Structure of Team Search Behaviors with Varying Access to Information


In many team-based activities, members search for information to gain situational awareness and thereby structure their own behavior. The extent to which members are coupled and in control of their surrounding environment can be accessed via the fluctuations of their searching behaviors. To facilitate prospective control, assistive technologies such as a head-up display (HUD) can alleviate the demands of search and facilitate team performance. This study investigated how three-person teams divided their labor and structured their search behavior when playing a multiplayer search-and-retrieval task where first-person visibility and access to a HUD were manipulated. Results showed that access to task relevant information facilitated performance and division of labor, and increased prospective control of searching behaviors, as indexed by detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA). Over multiple sessions, teams learned to use the HUD to structure their behavior to achieve the task goal. Results indicate the potential in using DFA for monitoring prospective control in team contexts.

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