Soldier Training

Researchers recently demonstrated that people’s attitudes about avoiding negative outcomes versus achieving positive outcomes is related to how their performance changes in response to gamified feedback during simulation-based training exercises. The research took place at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory, the Army’s corporate research laboratory known as ARL, at its extend site ARL-West, in collaboration with the University of California, Santa Barbara and is published in the journal Frontiers in Cognitive Science.

Scientists and trainers

Most people have experience using a website or app and then suddenly told they have earn a badge; so receive some points or unlock a new feature. These are all examples of something called gamification; so where elements of game design are use to make an experience more engaging,” Files said. “For a while now, scientists and trainers have want to use gamification to make training more efficient and effective. Unfortunately, gamification does not reliably lead to better training outcomes.”
This is where the researchers’ project start with the idea that different people will have different reactions; hence to any given game element. They thought that if they could learn about how an individual will react to certain game elements; so then they could add only those game elements that were going to improve training outcomes for that individual,” Files said.

To test this idea, they ran an experiment where they measure an individual characteristic; so from personality research called regulatory focus and then they gave people a brief training and practice session in which they perform a challenging task meant to increase their inhibitory control.

They find that one part of regulatory focus a measure of the extent to which a person thinks about good outcomes in terms of avoiding negative outcomes; hence called prevention focus had a reliable relationship to how that person’s performance improve in our training,” Files said. “Importantly, this relationship change depending on the specific game elements they add to the training.

Lost points for poor performance

People with a strong prevention focus did best when they lost points for poor performance. People with an intermediate prevention focus did best when they gain points; so for good performance and people with a low prevention focus did best with no points at all. Currently the researchers have test this in one kind of training task.
They said the good news is that inhibitory control training is relevant to many real world tasks; so from quitting smoking to avoiding critical shooting errors. The more general idea they can optimize an individual’s interactions with an information system by tailoring the way; hence that system presents information could have applications beyond training; so including smart user interfaces and human/agent interactions.

Files said the integrate visual augmentation system, or IVAS; so that is being develop under the Soldier lethality cross-functional team and the learning warfighter machine interface being develop under the next generation combat vehicle, or NGCV, could bring personalize user interfaces into the battlefield.

Improving training supports the Army’s modernization priority for Soldier lethality and personalize interfaces support human-autonomy teaming in the Army’s modernization priority for the NGCV,” Files said. “These findings contribute to a body of research that will lead to intelligent; hence personalize interfaces that leverage each individual warfighter’s talents while mitigating any weaknesses. To make the best use of these opportunities for personalization, we need strong fundamental research knowledge about the relationships between individual traits and the effects of personalization.