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Ch 9* = Chapter sections discussed in class*** = likely to be on testAttention as a Limited Capacity Resource*AttentionOur limited capacity to engage in multiple cognitive and motor activities simultaneously (a.k.a. Multitasking)In human performance, attention refers to several characteristics associated with perceptual, cognitive, and motor activities that establish limits to our performanceof motor skills (what we are thinking or not thinking about and what we are awareor unaware of)CONCEPT: PREPARATION FOR MOTOR SKILLS AND PERFORMANCE OFMOTOR SKILLS ARE INFLUENCED BY OUR LIMITED CAPACITY TO SELECT AND ATTEND TO INFORMATIONFeedback is an example of an attention-demanding process (paying attentionto how you are performing the skill)William Hamilton– British scholar; conducted various attention studiesWilliam Wundt– father of experimental psychology; University of Leipzig William James– provided one of the earliest definitions of attention: the “focalization and concentration of consciousness”Attention and Multiple Task PerformanceJacques Loeb– the maximum amount of pressure that a person can exert on a hand dynamometer actually decreases when the person is engaged in mental workSolomons & Stein– multiple-task performance limitation*Attention Theories***FILTER THEORY(a.k.a. Bottleneck theory): a person has difficulty doing several things at one time because the human information-processing system performs each of its functions in serial order; some of these functions can process only one piece of information at a time; this theory did not explain all performance situations SOME THINGS DON'T MAKE IT THROUGH OUR COGNITIVE FILTER, BUT OUR FILTER IS ADAPTABLE Best alternative to filter theory stated that information-processing functions could be carried out in parallel rather than serially, but attention limits were the result of the limited availability of resources needed to carry out those functions Theorists are split on where the resource limit existsMore recent theories: emphasize the selection and integration of information andactivities associated with the various functional aspects of human performance
***CENTRAL-RESOURCE CAPACITY THEORIES: proposes one central source of attention resources which all activities requiring attention compete forKahneman's attention theory: oViews attention as cognitive effort, which is related to the mental resources(located in the CNS) needed to carry out specific activities; limited amount of these resources available for use at any given time; the “central pool” of resources contain a flexible capacity—meaning that the amount of available attention can vary depending on the certain conditions relatedto the individual, the tasks being performed, and the situation(environmental context); oCharacterizes available attention as a general pool of effort, in which allocation is determined by characteristics of the activities, the allocation