Revisiting pulse rate, frequency and perceived urgency: have relationships changed and why?
Lewis, Bridget A.
Baldwin, Carryl L.
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As the presence of technology within vehicles increases, alerts and warnings need to not only be salient, but also correctly mapped to events of varying time sensitivity. The goal of this research was to reevaluate key auditory parameters within a driving context that have been shown to exhibit specific relationships with perceived urgency. We examined two commonly manipulated alert parameters: frequency and pulse rate. In accordance with the existing literature, we used previously validated psychophysical techniques to describe how changes in stimuli are reflected in changes of perceived urgency ratings across four different experimental conditions. Our findings indicate that pulse rate may be a more reliable and robust parameter for conveying levels of urgency than frequency. Our results also suggest that the relationship between pulse rate and perceived urgency may have weakened since the psychophysical work of the early 1990’s. Auditory alert designers wishing to convey varying levels of urgency within the variable environment of the vehicle cockpit may be more successful utilizing pulse rate than frequency.