Dual Task Performance While Driving a Car


Sponsorship and Administration

German Science Foundation (DFG MU 1298/5, SPP1184 "Altersdifferenzierte Arbeitssysteme, 2006 - 2008). This project is led by Professor Jochen Müsseler from RWTH Aachen University, Work and Cognitive Psychology and Professor Gisa Aschersleben, Saarland University.

Project Member

Dr. Katrin Arning: RWTH Aachen University, Work and Cognitive Psychology, in collaboration with: Prof. Dr. Robert Proctor: Purdue University, IN, USA


Human multitasking is present in everyday life and at work. The coordination of various activities is especially afforded by new information technologies. For instance, a driver responds on information provided by the navigation system, the on-board unit of the toll system, the radio or even the traffic. Under favorable conditions, i.e. at low traffic densities and slow speeds, it is often possible to coordinate successfully various tasks (e.g. driving the vehicle and operating on the navigation system). However, with less convenient traffic conditions, responsiveness is often hampered. This impairment affects especially older drivers. The purpose of the present project is to investigate the age-related temporary loss of performance in dangerous situations in road transport.

Selected Publications

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  • Aschersleben, G., Arning, K., & Müsseler, J. (2013). Age-related differences in critical driving situations: The influence of dual-task situations, S-R compatibility and driving expertise (pp. 279-297). In C. M. Schlick, E. Frieling, & J. Wegge (Eds.) Age-differentiated work systems. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.
  • Müsseler, J., Aschersleben, G., Arning, K., & Proctor, R. (2009). Reversed effects of spatial compatibility in natural scenes. American Journal of Psychology, 122, 325-336.
  • Aschersleben, G. & Müsseler, J. (2008). Dual-task performance while driving a car: Age-related differences in critical situations. In H. D. Zimmer, C. Frings, A. Mecklinger, B. Opitz, M. Pospeschill, & D. Wentura (Eds.), Cognitive Science 2007. Proceedings of the 8th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society of Germany. Saarbrücken, Online URL: http://psydok.sulb.uni-saarland.de/volltexte/2008/1185/
  • Aschersleben, G. & Müsseler, J. (2007). Das Führen eines Kraftfahrzeugs unter Doppeltätigkeitsbelastung: Alternsbedingte Leistungsunterschiede in Gefahrensituationen. Zeitschrift für Arbeitswissenschaft, 61, 69-74.