Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Industrial Engineering

First Advisor

Barrett Caldwell

Second Advisor

Caren Wenner

Committee Member 1

Mark Lehto


Job performance aids (JPAs) have been studied for many decades in a variety of disciplines and for many different types of tasks, yet this is the first known research experiment using JPAs in a quality assurance (QA) context. The objective of this thesis was to assess whether a JPA has an effect on the performance of a QA observer performing the concurrent dual verification technique for a basic assembly task. The JPA used in this study was a simple checklist, and the design borrows heavily from prior research on task analysis and other human factors principles. The assembly task and QA construct of concurrent dual verification are consistent with those of a high consequence manufacturing environment. Results showed that the JPA had only a limited effect on QA performance in the context of this experiment. However, there were three important and unexpected findings that may draw interest from a variety of practitioners. First, a novel testing methodology sensitive enough to measure the effects of a JPA on performance was created. Second, the discovery that there are different probabilities of detection for different types of error in a QA context may be the most far-reaching results. Third, these results highlight the limitations of concurrent dual verification as a control against defects. It is hoped that both the methodology and results of this study are an effective baseline from which to launch future research activities.