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Processing Resources and Timesharing Performance,
WRIGHT STATE UNIV DAYTON OH
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A central issue in the human performance literature concerns the nature of information processing limitations within the human system. A number of major theoretical positions that address the issue have held that processing restrictions arise primarily from structural limits in the system e.g.3 Broadbent, 1958 or from the unavailability of some type of capacity or resource that is necessary to process information e.g., Knowles, 1963 Kanneman, 1973. Regardless of the specific basis that is offered for limitations within the processing system, most theories have held that the source of processingrestrictions is unitary i.e., a single perceptual channel or a single undifferentiated pool of resources. Such unitary capacity theories provide little basis to predict differences in the efficiency of timesharing performance between different combinations of tasks, since all tasks draw on the same limited capacity source. If the demands of a task combination exceed the processing capacity of the system, degraded performance will result, regardless of the specific source e.g., central processing, motor output of the load.
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