CHP 14 - APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY

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21 Apr 2012
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14. APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY
HUMAN ERROR
problem-centered vs. method-centered: (applied cognitive psychology
needs a balance of both*)
o problem-centered: disadvantage - risk of sloppy methodology
o method-centered: disadvantage - lose sight of the practical problems
that need to be addressed
activation-trigger-schema theory (ATS): several different schemas for
different kinds of actions can exist, and more then one schema can be
activated at any one time
o attentional errors: occur when schemas are inappropriately
activated
oops, I did it again effect: continue to operate a habitual sequence of
actions (without paying much attention)
o consequence: the new/intended action sequence never gets activated
o the cognitive system has difficulty maintaining delayed intentions in
focal awareness (Einstein, McDaniel, Williford, Pagan, Dismukes
2003)
(even for as little as 5seconds)
SOURCES OF ERRORS
faulty formation of intentions (Norman)
o mode errors: carrying out an that would be appropriate for one
situation, nut not for the situation in which we find ourselves
ex. trying to take off eyeglasses when not wearing any
o description errors: errors that occur because we do not have a
detailed enough understanding of our situation
ex. a person intends to pour orange juice into a glass but
instead pours it into a coffee mug next to it
faulty activation of a schema
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o capture errors: errors occur when a familiar schema captures
behavior in the place of an unfamiliar one
ex. stroop task
o can also occur due to loss of activation of the appropriate schema
ex. walking into a room in your house and not being sure of
why you are there (can go back to where you started to
activate the schema again)
proper schema is activated but it is triggered inappropriately
o anticipation errors: response may occur earlier in a sequence than it
should if it is only being elicited by the immediately preceding
stimulus
ex. spoonerism
instead of saying ‘you have wasted two terms’ he says ‘you
have tasted two worms’
o the existence of such errors points out the importance of monitoring
one’s own behaviour (Norman)
unrealistic to eliminate slips, there are different consequences of slips
(depending on the setting, ex. work vs. play)
traditional way to avoid errors: understanding how human errors were
made in the past allows us to better predict, and therefore avoid, their
occurrence in the future
ERGONOMICS
ergonomics (human factors research): study of people in relation to their
working environ.
o help design objects and machines so that people can interact with the
max efficiency & max satisfaction possible
o objects should be made user friendly (helps a person perform a task
in a natural way, which is easy to understand/use)
THE USER INTERFACE
analyses of work situations through interfaces
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o organizational interface: relation between the organization and the
types of tasks the organization requires
ex. large corporations have a variety of complex tasks
associated with their organization while small busisness may
have a relatively smaller/less complex amount
o task interface: relation between job and devices needed to perform
job
decisions are often made without anyone being clear enough
about precisely what problems the introduction of new
technology is meant to solve
may be a process that evolves over a long period of using the
system, instead of being anything that can be precisely stated at
the outset
*goal: design interfaces that take the user’s point of view into account
COGNITIVE ERGONOMICS
cognitive ergonomics: the combination of cognitive psychology and
ergonomics - to understand the person/machine interface
user interface: the part of the machine that user interacts with
o the way the user thinks about the computer
o making use of the user’s existing knowledge in order to minimize the
amount of learning required to interact with the computer
KEYBOARDS
alphabetical keyboard: did not last -> QWERTY keyboard: took over
o reason for switch: the typing speed on the alphabetical keyboard was
not as fast as the QWERTY keyboard
skilled typists cannot transfer knowledge of QWERTY over to the
alphabetical keyboard
o attempted to reintroduce the alphabetical keyboard but people
resented it because the QWERTY is seen as more valuable to learn
result of an accidental series of events that locked technology into a
particular irreversible path
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