A Comparison of Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Display Formats in Information Integration and Nonintegration Tasks.
ILLINOIS UNIV AT URBANA ENGINEERING-PSYCHOLOGY RESEARCH LAB
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The multiple resources model states that dual-task performance improves if the component tasks are made minimally similar with respect to the mental resources the demand. The lesser the overlap between stimulus modality, central processing, and response modality resources, the lesser the predicted interference between concurrent tasks. Although the model has generally received support from dual-task experiments, it has not been known whether it generalizes to task environments requiring the combination or integration of information sources prior to response. Here two experiments made use of three tasks varying in terms of integration demands, and presented via four visual display formates for numeric information, presumably varying in the homogeneity of resource demands. These results conceptually replicate previous findings in showing that dual-task environments benefit from the use of nonoverlapping heterogeneous resources, presumably because they allow for greater noninterfering parallel processing. Yet when information integration is required, this is no longer true under certain conditions, benefit is obtained when the information sources to be integrated use overlapping homogeneous resources. It appears that the design of optimal displays in applied settings must take into account the degree to which information is to be integrated or responded to separately.
- *Display systems
- *Information processing
- Mental ability
- Resource management
- Parallel processing
- Test methods
- Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems