The Impact of Training on Human–Autonomy Team Communications and Trust Calibration

Craig J. Johnson, Mustafa Demir, Nathan J. McNeese, Jamie C. Gorman, Alexandra T. Wolff, Nancy J. Cooke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: This work examines two human–autonomy team (HAT) training approaches that target communication and trust calibration to improve team effectiveness under degraded conditions. Background: Human–autonomy teaming presents challenges to teamwork, some of which may be addressed through training. Factors vital to HAT performance include communication and calibrated trust. Method: Thirty teams of three, including one confederate acting as an autonomous agent, received either entrainment-based coordination training, trust calibration training, or control training before executing a series of missions operating a simulated remotely piloted aircraft. Automation and autonomy failures simulating degraded conditions were injected during missions, and measures of team communication, trust, and task efficiency were collected. Results: Teams receiving coordination training had higher communication anticipation ratios, took photos of targets faster, and overcame more autonomy failures. Although autonomy failures were introduced in all conditions, teams receiving the calibration training reported that their overall trust in the agent was more robust over time. However, they did not perform better than the control condition. Conclusions: Training based on entrainment of communications, wherein introduction of timely information exchange through one team member has lasting effects throughout the team, was positively associated with improvements in HAT communications and performance under degraded conditions. Training that emphasized the shortcomings of the autonomous agent appeared to calibrate expectations and maintain trust. Applications: Team training that includes an autonomous agent that models effective information exchange may positively impact team communication and coordination. Training that emphasizes the limitations of an autonomous agent may help calibrate trust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1554-1570
Number of pages17
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 2023


  • artificial intelligence
  • collaboration
  • command and control
  • human–agent teaming
  • intelligent systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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