Strength and reversibility of movement stereotypes for lever control and circular display

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-244
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007


This experiment studied strength and reversibility of direction-of-motion stereotypes, and response times for different configurations of lever controls with circular displays. Quantitative measures of the strength and reversibility of stereotypes were used to analyze the effects of pointer position, direction of turn instruction, and control plane on movement compatibility. Strong and significantly reversible stereotypes were obtained for horizontal and vertical levers, at the 12 and 9 o'clock pointer positions, respectively. Response times were generally longer when there were no clear movement stereotypes. In the analysis of the contributions of component principles to the overall stereotypes, the results here were explained in terms of the operating principles of right-clockwise (RC), clockwise-right (CR), left-anticlockwise (LA), anticlockwise-left (AL), down-clockwise (DC), clockwise-down (CD), up-anticlockwise (UA), and anticlockwise-up (AU). Recommendations for check reading or resetting purposes arising out of this study are that for a horizontal lever the display pointer should be at 12 o'clock, and for a vertical lever the pointer should be at 9 o'clock. For horizontal and vertical levers, the lever and the display should be in the frontal plane. Due to weak response preferences and low reversibility, vertical and horizontal levers were found to be not suited for use with any of the other control/display configurations used here. This study provided useful information for improving the design of control panels used in person-machine interfaces. Relevance to industry: The interaction of people with equipment and machinery is mainly achieved through a two-way exchange of information via displays and controls, demanding information processing and decision-making skills. Results from the various configurations of lever control and circular display studied in detail here led to recommendations about design features that are important for control panel interface design, and for prediction of the effects of design on user behavior. The recommendations on compatible interface designs should result in more rapid response times and fewer errors. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Circular display, Lever control, Movement compatibility, Reversibility, Stereotype