Mental Workload Dynamics in Adaptive Interface Design

Hancock, P.A., & Chignell, M.H. (1988). Mental workload dynamics in adaptive interface design. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, 18 (4), 647-658.

In examining the role of time in mental workload, the authors present a different perspective from which to view the problem of assessment. Mental workload is plotted in three dimensions, whose axes represent effective time for action, perceived distance from desired goal state, level of effort required to achieve the time-constrained goal. This representation allows the generation of isodynamic workload contours that incorporate the factors of operator skill and equifinality of effort. An adaptive interface for dynamic task reallocation is described that uses this form of assessment to reconcile the joint aims of stable operator loading and acceptable primary task performance by the total system.

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