The Effect of Alcohol on Human Performance: A Classification and Integration of Research Findings
AMERICAN INSTITUTES FOR RESEARCH SILVERSPRING MD
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An attempt is made to improve upon generalizations regarding the influence of alcohol on performance in the study by the application to the alcohol literature of a classification system or taxonomy of performance based upon human abilities. The effort was designed, in part, to categorize the existing literature into task groups in order to determine whether alcohol effects differ as a function of different types of tasks. Tasks were grouped together on the basis of the abilities required to perform the task. The results indicated that the curves relating performance to dosage differed as a function of the ability requirements of the task. Further, the effects on performance of length of testing period and time between alcohol administration and the initiation of testing were marked and depended upon the abilities required by the task. In each case, different functional relationships were evident. Despite differences among the specific tasks in terms of displays, response requirements, performance index, technique of alcohol administration, etc., the categorization of tasks according to ability requirements enabled an integration of results and the development of functional relationships which otherwise were obscured.