The Soft Constraints Hypothesis: A Rational Analysis Approach to Resource Allocation for Interactive Behavior
RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INST TROY NY
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Soft constraints hypothesis SCH is a rational analysis approach that holds that the mixture of perceptual-motor and cognitive resources allocated for interactive behavior is adjusted based on temporal cost-benefit tradeoffs. Alternative approaches maintain that cognitive resources are in some sense protected or conserved in that greater amounts of perceptual-motor effort will be expended to conserve lesser amounts of cognitive effort. One alternative, the minimum memory hypothesis MMH, holds that people favor strategies that minimize the use of memory. SCH is compared with MMH across 3 experiments and with predictions of an Ideal Performer Model that uses ACT-Rs memory system in a reinforcement learning approach that maximizes expected utility by minimizing time. Model and data support the SCH view of resource allocation at the under 1000-ms level of analysis, mixtures of cognitive and perceptual-motor resources are adjusted based on their cost-benefit tradeoffs for interactive behavior.