e-book Elements of Human Performance: Reaction Processes and Attention in Human Skill

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Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Your points will be added to your account once your order is shipped. Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! This book presents a review of research on reaction processes and attention as it has evolved over the last 40 years in the context of the information processing tradition in cognitive psychology.


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It is argued and demonstrated that issues of reaction processes and attention are closely interconnected. Their common conceptualization can be seen in terms of limited processing capacity on the one hand, and stage analysis on the other. This volume concludes that, at present, a stage analysis metaphor offers better prospects as a conceptual starting point; the limited capacity metaphor was strongly tied to the digital computers of the 60s.

The emphasis of the book is on behavioral research, but summaries of related findings on evoked potentials and other psychophysiological variables are included as well.

Strategic predictors of performance in a divided attention task

From this perspective, it may be of interest to neuropsychologists who want to learn about the present state of cognitive experimental paradigms. Elements of Human Performance also addresses the question of the relationship between basic research and applications in the said areas. This is particularly urgent in view of the now common notion that the results of many simplified laboratory tasks may be artifactual and of little applied value.

A back-to-back research strategy is outlined to assess the validity of basic research results for real-life tasks. Help Centre. Track My Order.

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Elements of Human Performance: Reaction Processes and Attention in Human Skill

Ships in 7 to 10 business days. Link Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Description Table of Contents Product Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Introduction to Reaction Processes. On the other hand, the individual tasks are equivalent in the sense that they require the same cognitive abilities.

In spite of all these, we think that studies conducting experiments and investigating performance in multitasking, or complex environments, are close to our work, especially the ones that also analyze strategies of the participants. Our work consists of designing, performing and evaluating a set of experiments, in which participants were asked to play with the DA Game over a several day period.

The main purpose of the evaluations was to identify strategic performance measures, in order to highlight the individual differences between the participants and to characterize their strategic decisions that predict performance. These are elaborated later in the paper, in the Methods section. For now we mention that we made efforts to decrease the number of these variables in order to reduce complexity as much as possible.

We kept one parameter to be able to control task demands. The purpose of the difficulty manipulation is twofold. We have increased the level of difficulty gradually in order to keep the task challenging as players are progressing. In addition, we wanted to test the effect of stress on decision making performance and strategy by means of increasing the frequency of user actions.

Furthermore, our explicit goal was to determine such strategic decisions that remain consistent predictors of performance despite the changes in difficulty. Our efforts indicate that such hidden variables can be identified. The results of this study also demonstrate that considerable differences in the divided attention ability of normal subjects can be detected already after a short period of practice. We will address the limitations and the advantages of our studies at the end of the Discussion section.

Our significant results give rise to novel questions and point to further experiments. The paper is organized as follows. First, related studies are reviewed that investigated performance in various complex tasks, with the focus being on the works that were concerned with strategies of participants. This prepares the possibility to frame the relevance of our research question and to state our contributions.

Second, we elaborate on the design process of the DA Game, describe the experiments we conducted and define the strategic predictors. Third, the results of the evaluations are presented, illustrating how the strategic measures highlight the individual differences between participants and predict performance in a regression analysis using the generalized estimating equation GEE method.

Fourth, the results are discussed and the importance of the determined strategic decisions is detailed, relating them to similar strategies from other studies. Finally, we conclude the paper by summarizing our work. A range of studies have been concerned with multitasking ability and examined human performance in complex environments.

These works have considered mostly ability constructs and personality traits as predictors of achievement, using various problem solving tasks. In this study we investigate strategic predictors of performance. We start by mentioning that there is no universally agreed-upon definition of strategy. The importance of strategies in the analysis of performance was emphasized by several works see, e. In the following, we mention studies that are concerned with ability and personality constructs as predictors of performance, and then turn our attention to strategies investigated in a variety of multitasking settings.

One of the most studied ability constructs in relation to multitasking, is the skill of attention. Arthur et al. The results proved that individual differences in visual attention correlated with task performance, even after taking into account training effects. Attention in general was assessed by several other works as well in different tasks see, e.

Intelligence or reasoning has also been considered by a range of studies [ 13 , 20 , 23 , 26 — 32 ]. A synthetic work environment involving four parallel tasks was exploited by several researchers [ 20 , 24 , 30 , 33 — 35 ]. One study showed that cognitive abilities positively correlated with multitasking performance [ 20 ], while in [ 30 ] it was found that they also predicted error types.

Some of these works have investigated the relationship between working memory capacity and performance. For example, Hambrick et al. Working memory has been proven to be a good predictor by a number of other works as well [ 17 , 20 , 21 , 23 , 27 , 30 , 32 , 36 , 37 ]. The synthetic work environment mentioned previously was used by some studies to analyze the relationship between task performance and personality variables too. For example, the theoretical models of [ 26 ] incorporate basic personality dimensions of individual differences, or in [ 34 ] it was found that non-ability factors also underlay success or failure.

In this latter work, especially neuroticism predicted performance, a personality variable investigated by others as well [ 16 , 26 , 38 ]. Other non-ability traits analyzed by several studies are Type A behavior pattern [ 11 , 12 , 34 ], need for closure [ 37 , 39 ], extraversion [ 13 , 16 , 26 , 34 , 38 ]. Out of these, neuroticism and extraversion are members of the Big Five or OCEAN personality traits, considered by some of the works listed. This is expected to positively correlate with performance, which is the case in the study of Zhang et al.

They found that polychronic people switched between processes more frequently in a dual-process control task and achieved better performance than monochronic subjects.

Correction

Polychronic individuals performed better in a dual-task setting too [ 28 ], by switching more between tasks under time constrained conditions. The results of Sanderson et al. However, other researchers failed to find a significant relation between polychronicity and multitasking performance [ 11 — 13 , 34 ]. The ability and personality constructs mentioned above are a few of the most important examples investigated in the vast literature available and the references are not reviewed in detail, since this is outside the scope of the present work.


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  • Here we are concerned with strategies for problem solving, investigated by several works, some of which were mentioned in the previous sections too. In the experiments of Arthur et al.

    Elements of Human Performance: Reaction Processes and Attention in Human Skill

    According to the study, these were developed by experienced operators and constitute mostly in prioritizing some actions over other ones for more details see the cited work and the references therein. Communicating optimal strategies to subjects is not a common practice in research. Instead scientists manipulate the difficulty or the circumstances of the tasks in their experiments in order to observe changes in decision making, which influence multitasking performance, or to study the difference between contrasting personality types see, e.