Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Paul M. Goodrum
Matthew R. Hallowell
Construction project performance at the task level is ultimately driven by craft workers. The quality and ease of use of the information they are given is critical to their success. Developments in three-dimensional (3D) computer aided design (CAD) and 3D printing provide new mediums to deliver engineering information to the face of the work. Information types have varying levels of cognitive demand. Appropriate information types should be given to workers considering their finite cognitive abilities. This research studies the cognitive demands of two-dimensional (2D) plan sets, 3D CAD, and 3D printed models on construction workers. Research subject completed scale model structure assemblies using the three information formats. Performance on each assembly was quantitatively measured with construction industry performance metrics. Subjects' cognitive abilities were also determined using standardized testing methods. Statistical analysis supports the research hypothesis that 3D physical models lead to better performance than 2D plans and 3D CAD due to a lower cognitive demand. Additional trends were discovered within the sample population demographics. The primary contribution to the overall body of knowledge is establishing new trends between a person's cognitive abilities and the cognitive demand of the information they are given.
Sweany, John Brendan, "Cognitive Demand of Engineering Information" (2014). Civil Engineering Graduate Theses & Dissertations. 121.