Measures of reliance and compliance in aided visual scanning

Joachim Meyer, Rebecca Wiczorek, Torsten Günzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Objective: We study the dependence or independence of reliance and compliance as two responses to alarms to understand the mechanisms behind these responses. Background: Alarms, alerts, and other binary cues affect user behavior in complex ways. The suggestion has been made that there are two different responses to alerts-compliance (the tendency to perform an action cued by the alert) and reliance (the tendency to refrain from actions as long as no alert is issued). The study tests the degree to which these two responses are indeed independent. Method: An experiment tested the effects of the positive and negative predictive values of the alerts (PPV and NPV) on measures of compliance and reliance based on cutoff settings, response times, and subjective confidence. Results: For cutoff settings and response times, compliance was unaffected by the irrelevant NPV, whereas reliance depended on the irrelevant PPV. For subjective estimates, there were no significant effects of the irrelevant variables. Conclusion: Results suggest that compliance is relatively stable and unaffected by irrelevant information (the NPV), whereas reliance is also affected by the PPV. The results support the notion that reliance and compliance are separate, but related, forms of trust. Application: False alarm rates, which affect PPV, determine both the response to alerts (compliance) and the tendency to limit precautions when no alert is issued (reliance).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)840-849
Number of pages10
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Alerts
  • Automation
  • Compliance
  • Confdence
  • Reliance
  • Signal detection theory
  • Trust
  • Warnings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Measures of reliance and compliance in aided visual scanning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this