ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (11): 1733-1739.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.01733

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Effect of Visual Attention on Hazard Detection and Its Influencing Mechanism

SUN Long; CHANG Ruosong; GAO Yuan; MA Ling   

  1. (School of Psychology, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian 116029, China)
  • Received:2013-09-27 Online:2014-11-15 Published:2014-11-15
  • Contact: CHANG Ruosong, E-mail:


Effective visual attention is crucial for drivers to search and detect the potential hazard in driving. By analyzing the effect of visual attention on hazard detection, we proposed situation awareness hypothesis and mental workload hypothesis. The former hypothesis pointed out that the quality of situation awareness determined the flexibility of drivers’ visual scanning pattern, thereby affecting hazard detection. While the later hypothesis highlighted that when the drivers’ mental workload increased, their visual attention tended to concentrate, reducing the possibility of detecting a hazard. In the future, more attention should be paid to comparing the difference of cognitive compatibility of situation awareness among different road users, and applying vehicle automation technology to reduce drivers’ mental workload as well as how to distinguish the effect of situation awareness and mental workload at the same time.

Key words: driver, visual attention, hazard detection, situation awareness, mental workload