Elements of Human Performance : Reaction Processes and Attention in Human Skill book cover
1st Edition

Elements of Human Performance
Reaction Processes and Attention in Human Skill

ISBN 9780203774250
Published February 1, 2013 by Psychology Press
592 Pages

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Book Description

This book presents a review of research on reaction processes and attention as it has evolved over the last 40 years in the context of the information processing tradition in cognitive psychology. It is argued and demonstrated that issues of reaction processes and attention are closely interconnected. Their common conceptualization can be seen in terms of limited processing capacity on the one hand, and stage analysis on the other. This volume concludes that, at present, a stage analysis metaphor offers better prospects as a conceptual starting point; the limited capacity metaphor was strongly tied to the digital computers of the 60s. The emphasis of the book is on behavioral research, but summaries of related findings on evoked potentials and other psychophysiological variables are included as well. From this perspective, it may be of interest to neuropsychologists who want to learn about the present state of cognitive experimental paradigms.

Elements of Human Performance also addresses the question of the relationship between basic research and applications in the said areas. This is particularly urgent in view of the now common notion that the results of many simplified laboratory tasks may be artifactual and of little applied value. A back-to-back research strategy is outlined to assess the validity of basic research results for real-life tasks.

Table of Contents

Contents.Preface. Introduction. Introduction to Reaction Processes. Reaction Processes: General Properties and Models. Reaction Processes: Stage Analysis. Reaction Processes: Effects of Variables. Reaction Processes: Beyond Traditional Choice-Reaction Time. Introduction to Attention. Focused Attention and Search. Automaticity and Divided Attention. Energetics, Stress, and Sustained Attention. The Total Task: Reversal of the Perspective. References. Author Index. Subject Index.

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"...[the book] should be appreciated by students and researchers in various fields related to human performance, such as cognitive, engineering, organizational, or social psychology.
Contemporary Psychology

"This is a remarkably good book. It documents the insights of a distinguished career in applied cognitive psychology and human engineering."
The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology

"This is a remarkably good book....As a handbook to this field there has been nothing to equal this book during the 30 years since Donald Broadbent's Decision and Stress, which it supersedes in other senses than the inevitable updating and reassessment of literature. It is arguably more effective than this brilliant, dense, and slightly strange book....It should be very widely read, particularly by undergraduates and research students."
The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology