Attentional Resource Allocation in a Variable Difficulty Dual Task Paradigm.
ILLINOIS UNIV AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN ENGINEERING-PSYCHOLOGY LAB
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A model of the attention allocation process in a dynamic environment with changing task demands was presented. The model describes the manner in which optimal and sub-optimal allocation of resources can be revealed by linear coherence analysis of the dual task performance and difficulty measures, and partitions the allocation process into subprocesses of performance demand evaluation and subsequent resource allocation. Eight subjects time-shared two compensatory tracking tasks under conditions of constant task difficulty, and under conditions when the difficulty percent acceleration dynamics of one task was varied over the course of the trial. Subjects were instructed to maintain constant performance on the variable difficulty task, and augmented performance feedback was presented on half of the trials. The data were evaluated in terms of the model, and coherence and error analysis revealed that allocation was far from optimal. The failure of augmented feedback to improve the optimality of allocation suggested that the limitation lay within the allocation, rather than the demand evaluation process. Some reasons were proposed for these limitations, and for the contrast of the current results with optimum allocation observed in constant difficulty dual task studies. Author
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems