Mental workload (MWL) measurement in marine operations
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CitationÖzsever, B. (2023). Mental workload (MWL) measurement in marine operations. Maritime Wellbeing. s. 167-188. Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Human error is the primary contributor to maritime casualties. Moreover, most collisions and groundings were related to watchkeeping officers' mental workload (MWL). The mental workload can be defined as the amount of mental effort and it is related to information processing and decision-making. On the other hand, it can also be defined as the number of mental resources an individual needs to handle a particular task in their environment. The difference between limited amount of cognitive resources and environmental demand is a ground of human error in occupational areas. While studies on drivers and pilots have made some progress, studies in the field of maritime still need to be at this stage. The aim of this chapter is to detail the techniques used for mental workload measurements in marine operations, to analyse the success levels of the techniques used in the studies in the literature, and to present a projection for further studies. In this chapter, mental workload measurement techniques are classified as subjective, performance, physiological and task loading assessment. Although subjective and performance measurements are widely used in studies related to marine operations, physiological measurements have only been used in recent years, and these early results give an idea that physiological measurements can also be used in marine operations. Within the autonomous ship categories projected by International Maritime Organization, only the fully autonomous ships will be operating with no seafarers on board or ashore. All the other categories will require seafarers to be present either on board or ashore for remote controlling. Therefore, monitoring of cognitive activities of officers, which results in inversely proportional to the increase in automation, is also important for autonomous ship designs. In parallel with these developments in autonomous ship technology, finding, testing and elaborating the right techniques stated in this chapter for mental workload measurement will be a reference for future studies and can provide an infrastructure that can be used in new ship technologies.