This research thesis describes an investigation into the grading
inspection of apples with particular reference to the decision-making
component of the inspection task.
The research commences with an evaluation, conducted across seven
grading packhouses in the United Kingdom, of the correctness and
consistency with which examiners judge and classify fruit in accordance
with the European Economic Community Standards and attempts to broadly
answer two questions: (i) How well do human inspectors of apples perform under optimum
conditions (the decision task with trivial search)? and (ii) how well do human inspectors of apples perform under actual
'on-line' conditions (the decision task with active search)?
Subsequent analysis identifies those factors contributing to poor
decision-making performance, of which four are the subject of further
investigation. These are inspector training, selection of inspectors,
the deployment of inspectors, and the method of presentation of fruit. [Continues.]
A Master's Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Philosophy at Loughborough University.