Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Aviation Sciences



First Advisor

Deborah Carstens

Second Advisor

Meredith Carroll

Third Advisor

John Deaton


When passengers do not follow in-flight announcements, injuries can occur. It is critical to draw passengers’ attention and help them be aware of the importance of the instructions provided during in-flight announcements. Passengers’ attention can be improved by providing intensive auditory cues before announcements. The auditory cues with intensive acoustic parameters increase the hearers’ perceived level of urgency, and then, they are more likely to perform safer behaviors. Also, when the intensity level increases to an intermediate level, the stimulated persons should have better performance. However, when it increases excessively, their performance may be impaired. The study examined the effect of the intensity level of auditory cues on passengers’ performance mediated by perceptions, arousal levels, and attitudes. Auditory cues included five levels, one baseline, and four intensive levels. Performance referred to passengers’ response time to instructions. Perceptions included the perceived level of urgency and the perceived level of risk. Arousal levels were determined by analyzing heart rate, heart rate variability, and skin conductance. Attitudes were defined by how annoyed passengers were with the cues.

The findings demonstrated that auditory cues with a moderately high-intensity level significantly increased passengers’ performance and an exceedingly high level of cues impaired their performance. The intensity level had a positive effect on perceptions and attitudes. Although perceptions and attitudes were not linearly correlated with performance, they formed a potential inverted-U relationship with the performance. Arousal levels were not affected by the intensity level and did not have an effect on performance, possibly because passengers’ physiological responses were not sensitive in a short period.

Included in

Aviation Commons