Cultural Etiquette and its Impact on Directive Human Performance

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-06-C-6635
Agency Tracking Number: F051-069-1848
Amount: $748,951.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: AF05-069
Solicitation Number: 2005.1
Small Business Information
211 N 1st St., Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN, 55401
DUNS: 103477993
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Christopher Miller
 Chief Scientist
 (612) 716-4105
Business Contact
 Harry Funk
Title: VP Technology
Phone: (612) 578-7438
Research Institution
We argue that traditional cultural factors (from Hofstede, Nisbett, etc.) are too abstract to provide good, predictive models of important human performance behaviors such as compliance with directives. Instead, we focus on culture-specific social interaction behaviors in language, gesture, etc. (i.e., "etiquette") as a more concrete and quantifiable bridge between abstract cultural factors and human performance. We describe a computational model of etiquette and face threat perception developed under other funding. In Phase I, we developed hypotheses about the relation of deep cultural factors to etiquette perception and directive compliance, with a testbed and experimental methodology for evaluating those hypotheses. In Phase II, we propose a series of experiments to validate and tune our computational model of these related phenomena. Experiments will involve human task performance in a militarily-relevant, yet controlled domain where directives are given. Experimenters will select participants for cultural factors and will quantitatively control the level of etiquette of issued directives. Relevant compliance data (e.g., compliance accuracy, response time, attitudes, etc.) will be collected as dependent variables. Finally, we will incorporate the resulting model in a prototype design (notionally, a user interface or training materials) to illustrating the effects of culture-specific etiquette on directive compliance.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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