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Ninth International Symposium on Human Aspects of Information Security & Assurance (HAISA 2015)
Title: Effect of Motivation and Physical Fitness on Cyber Tasks
Author(s): Kirsi Helkala, Silje Knox, Mass Lund
Keywords: Motivation, physical fitness, cognitive abilities, cyber solder, military exercise
Abstract: Today, and especially in the future, soldiers have to be able to operate and maintain a large variety of devices connected to the cyber domain in whatever environment they are operating in. This places a high demand on soldiers’ cognitive abilities and mechanisms that humans use to process and store information. In this paper we study how motivation, gained by understanding the purpose of tasks connected to the cyber domain and level of physical conditioning affect cognitive abilities. A cognitive test designed for this study contains tasks that are similar to real cyber operations or incidents. The test was conducted three times during a two-week long military exercise where sleep and nutrition were highly reduced and physical activity significantly increased. We show that both motivation (given by task explanations) and high physical fitness has a positive effect on performance in cyber tasks.
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