Dr. James Szalma, PhD

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United States


James Szalma is an associate professor and Director of the Human Factors and Cognitive Psychology Ph.D. Program in the Psychology Department at the University of Central Florida. He received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Michigan in 1990 and an MA in Applied Experimental/Human Factors psychology in 1997 from the University of Cincinnati.  He received a Ph.D. in Applied Experimental/Human Factors psychology in 1999 from the University of Cincinnati. The theme for his laboratory, the Performance Research Laboratory, is how variations in task characteristics interact with the characteristics of the person (i.e., cognitive abilities, personality, emotion, motivation) to influence performance, workload, and stress of cognitively demanding tasks.  His primary research interests include signal/threat detection (e.g., friend/foe identification), training for threat detection, and how the characteristics of tasks and operators interact to influence performance in the context of tasks that require sustained attention or that include human-automation interaction. He is currently conducting research on the application of tasks created in a video game environment to train sustained attention, on the influence of motivation on performance and human-technology interaction, and on the validity of Fuzzy Signal Detection Theory for performance evaluation in threat detection.