Investigating Gender Differences in Human Interactions with a Transparent Swarm

Aya Hussein, Sondoss Elsawah, Hussein Abbass

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Research suggests that different operationalisations of automation transparency can influence team collaboration and performance. Yet, little is known about how gender differences can affect humans’ ability to process the information provided by their automation teammate when the automation is transparent. The significance of this research question stems from the fact that the broader areas of judgment and decision making show that females and males deploy different information processing strategies. The aim of this paper is to explore whether gender differences exist in the way people interact with a transparent swarm. We conducted a user study in which 33 subjects (15 males and 18 females) interacted with a simulated swarm under two conditions: with and without transparency. While no significant differences were detected under the control condition, results indicate that when transparency was added, males were able to utilise transparency early on, while females needed significantly more time to benefit from it. Besides, under the transparency condition, females exhibited significantly longer response times than males. How-ever, as time progresses and towards the last time window of the experiment, females could achieve slightly higher decision accuracy than males. These findings stress the need to consider gender differences when designing transparent human-machine interaction and its training protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)853-857
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event63rd International Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, HFES 2019 - Seattle, United States
Duration: 28 Oct 20191 Nov 2019


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