Impact of Uncertain Cues on Combat Identification Judgments


  1. Bryant, D.J.
  2. Smith, D.G.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
This report describes an experiment examining combat identification (CID) decision making and the impact of cue uncertainty on subjects’ decision accuracy. Subjects played the role of a dismounted infantry soldier in a first-person perspective environment and engaged a series of simulated targets. Subjects attempted to engage (i.e. shoot) only those figures that were enemies. Friendly and enemy forces were distinguishable by differences in uniforms, equipment, and whether they are identified as friendly in the combat ID system. Variability in the characteristics of friend and enemy trials was introduced across blocks. Two factors were considered, 1) the type of characteristic that is uncertain (visual or behavioural), and 2) the salience of the uncertain feature (salient or not salient). Results indicated that both hit rate and FA rate can be affected by uncertainty associated with visual and, to a lesser extent, behavioural characteristics of targets in the environment. When uncertainty is associated with friends, the FA rate can increase, whereas hit rate is primarily affected by uncertainty associated with potential enemies. In both cases, effects depend on the salience of the characteristics that are uncertain. Because less salient characteristic are less likely to be considered in the CID decision, they will be less likely to confuse CID decision makers.

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combat identification;decision making;fratricide
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-TR-2009-127 — Technical Report
Date of publication
30 Nov 2009
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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