Grip pressure as a measure of task difficulty in compensatory tracking tasks
Hickok, John Howard
Hess, Ronald A.
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The feasibility of utilizing the grip pressure exerted on a rigid control stick as a measure of tracking task difficulty was investigated. A device was engineered to measure grip pressure independent of control force. A hybrid computer was used to produce the tracking tasks necessary in the research and on-line data computation. Compensatory tracking tasks using K/s, K/s(s+2) and K/s² controlled elements provided the difficulty levels, from easiest to most difficult. Results indicate that grip pressure increases significantly with task difficulty as the operator attempts to reduce his effective time delay. However, grip pressure also appears to be dependent upon the "gain" which a human adopts in a particular tracking task. This gain-related grip pressure may not be related to task difficulty.
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