Driver Training
Dr Prasannah Prabhakharan
Dr Brett Molesworth

Research from the aviation industry has demonstrated that a cognitive training method, termed episodic training, can improve pilots' risk management in a simulated environment. Drawing from this research, experiment 1 aimed to investigate whether episodic training could produce similar improvements in motorists' risk management behaviour, namely in the area of speeding. The results revealed that episodic training was an effective method to reduce young novice drivers' tendency to speed in a simulated driving environment. Experiment 2 aimed to examine the impact of episodic training on drivers' cognitive resources, with the introduction of a secondary task. The results revealed that implementing a speed management strategy through episodic training was successful in isolation; however, when performed in conjunction with a secondary task, there was a trade-off in terms of how cognitive resources were allocated. This result prompted experiment 3 to explore the cognitive underpinnings of how young novice drivers distributed cognitive resources when performing a dual-task and whether it was possible to train how these resources were allocated.

Cognitive resource allocation was calculated by assessing performance on a dual visual and auditory computer task. The results from this experiment revealed that individuals opted to evenly distribute cognitive resources in the dual-task exercise rather than allocate based on the demand characteristics of the task. The results also revealed that cognitive resource allocation can be trained by providing explicit feedback about performance.