Mixed signals: Stimulus-response compatibility and car indicator lights configuration

Bayliss, A. P. (2007) Mixed signals: Stimulus-response compatibility and car indicator lights configuration. Applied Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 21 5: 669-676. doi:10.1002/acp.1342

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Author Bayliss, A. P.
Title Mixed signals: Stimulus-response compatibility and car indicator lights configuration
Journal name Applied Journal of Cognitive Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1099-0720
Publication date 2007-07
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/acp.1342
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 21
Issue 5
Start page 669
End page 676
Total pages 8
Editor Graham Davies
Place of publication Chichester, U.K. ; New York, U.S.A.
Publisher Wiley Interscience
Language eng
Subject 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
1702 Cognitive Sciences
1701 Psychology
Formatted abstract
The amber indicator lights on cars are designed to enable road users to efficiently predict the driver's next manoeuvre. Among other factors (e.g. luminance), the spatial configuration of these lights facilitates their interpretation (e.g. the fight indicator flashes for right turns). However, several modern models of car confound this relationship by placing indicators medially relative to the headlights. Hence, the left indicator is placed to the fight of the left headlight, for example. In two computer-based experiments, the object-based incompatibility that arises from this latter configuration resulted in slower, more erroneous responses to the indicated direction than for the standard configuration. These data act as a reminder to car designers that indicators, which are inherently a safety feature, should be designed with how fluently they can be processed by the human visual system in mind and not just for aesthetic appeal.
Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Keyword Accident prevention
Response time
Signal detection
Spatial orientation
Stimulus response
Traffic accident
Visual field
Visual stimulation
Visuomotor coordination
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 12 Nov 2009, 12:15:15 EST by Dr Andrew Bayliss on behalf of Faculty of Social & Behavioural Sciences