Stimulus-Response and Response-Effect Compatibility With Touchless Gestures and Moving Action Effects

Markus Janczyk, Aiping Xiong, Robert W. Proctor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether response-effect (R-E) compatibility or stimulus-response (S-R) compatibility is more critical for touchless gesture responses. Background: Content on displays can be moved in the same direction (S-R incompatible but R-E compatible) or opposite direction (S-R compatible but R-E incompatible) as the touchless gesture that produces the movement. Previous studies suggested that it is easier to produce a button-press response when it is R-E compatible (and S-R incompatible). However, whether this R-E compatibility effect also occurs for touchless gesture responses is unknown. Method: Experiments 1 and 2 employed an R-E compatibility manipulation in which participants made responses with an upward or downward touchless gesture that resulted in the display content moving in the same (compatible) or opposite (incompatible) direction. Experiment 3 employed an S-R compatibility manipulation in which the stimulus occurred at the upper or lower location on the screen. Results: Overall, only negligible influences of R-E compatibility on performing the touchless gestures were observed (in contrast to button-press responses), whereas S-R compatibility heavily affected the gestural responses. Conclusion: The R-E compatibility obtained in many previous studies with various types of responses appears not to hold for touchless gestures as responses. Application: The results suggest that in the design of touchless interfaces, unique factors may contribute to determining which mappings of gesture and display movements are preferred by users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1297-1314
Number of pages18
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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