Ralph, Gray, & Schoelles (2009)

Ralph, J., Gray, W. D., & Schoelles, M. J. (2009). The Functional Resource Hypothesis as a basis for understanding cognitive workload in immediate interactive behavior. 53rd Annual Conference of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (pp. 404-408). Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

The Functional Resource Hypothesis as a basis for understanding cognitive workload in immediate interactive behavior

Understanding workload requires understanding the control of cognition at the 1/3 to 3s time span during which cognitive, perceptual, and motor operations become bound together into interactive routines. Interactive routines constitute unit tasks (3 to 30 s), and unit tasks constitute subtasks (30s to 3min). To reduce cognitive workload and overload, the Functional Resource Hypothesis maintains that an optimal allocation of interactive routines to task performance would be based on the functional resource of time not modality. Some of the implications of this hypothesis are investigated in an empirical study that varied memory load as well as the demands on the eyes, visual attention, auditory cognition, and motor operations. A microanalysis of the data revealed tradeoffs between groups in their pattern of resource allocation that were compatible with the Functional Resource Hypothesis.

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