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Transcript of Cognitive Ergonomics
What is Cognitive Ergonomics?
Data Collection - Interview
Our Chosen Task
Cognitive Ergonomics - Applied
We would like you to participate in an activity that will help to show the difficulties in cognitive processing in a busy working environment.
The server, or the operator, takes a coffee order from table 3 (two lattes). As she moves away from the table, in her peripheral vision, she notices a woman on table 6 raise her hand, beckoning her over. The operator goes over to the table and takes the order. She does not have any paper to write down the order, so she must remember it correctly. It is a complicated order, so she must confirm the order with the kitchen chef immediately. After leaving table 6, the operator quickly goes over to the kitchen, and explains the complicated order to the chef. As a result she forgets to make the two lattes.
Kate de Boe Agnew
Sent to staff members of restaurant in Dublin
24 questions included for the interview
Received two completed interview documents (one waitress, one hostess)
Sample questions: Are there any regular problems that you encounter during your shifts? How were you trained in to this position in your current employment? What task(s) did you find most difficult following training?
Feedback from Interview
Poor training provided
Busiest times are when most mistakes occur
Most find difficulty managing multiple situations
Most find the pace difficult to keep up with at busy times
Hanson (2003): experts have moved away from modifying the work environment to modifying the behaviour of the worker.
Training is a key element in a busy restaurant environment, without it cognitive processing becomes an even bigger task.
Beilock, S. L., Bertenthal, B. I., McCoy, A. M., & Carr, T. H. (2004). Haste does not always make waste: Expertise, direction of attention, and speed versus accuracy in performing sensorimotor skills.
Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 11
Hanson, M. (2003).
Contemporary Ergonomics 2001
. London: Taylor and Francis.
International Ergonomics Association. (2014).
Definition and domains of ergonomics
. Retrieved from http://www.iea.cc/whats/index.html.
Long, J. (1987). Cognitive ergonomics and human computer interaction. In P.B. Warr (Ed.),
Psychology at work
. England: Penguin.
Macken, W.J., Tremblay, S., Alford, D. & Jones, D. (1999).Attentional selectivity in short term memory: Similarity of process, not similarity of content, determines disruption.
International Journal of Psychology, 34, 322 - 327.
Naveh-Benjamin, M., Craik, F. I., Guez, J., & Dori, H. (1998). Effects of divided attention on encoding and retrieval processes in human memory: Further support for an asymmetry.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 24
Sarter, N. B. (2007). Multimodal information presentation: Design guidance and research challenges.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 36
Thomas, L. C., & Wickens, C. D. (2001, October). Visual displays and cognitive tunneling: Frames of reference effects on spatial judgments and change detection. In
Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting,
Tremblay S & Jones DM. (2001). Auditory distraction and short-term memory: phenomena and practical implications. Human Factors, 43, 12-29.
Tulving, E., & Thomson, D. M. (1973). Encoding specificity and retrieval processes in episodic memory.
Psychological review, 80
Wickens, C. D., Hollands, J. G., Banbury, S., & Parasuraman, R. (2013).
Engineering psychology and human performance
(4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
Memory: Encoding, Maintenance and Retrieval
Tulving and Thompson (1973): the episodic memory
Naveh-Benjamin, Craik, Guez, and Dori (1998): encoding and retrieval
Macken et al. (1999); Tremblay and Jones (2001)
Suggestions for Improvement
1. Cognitive Task Analysis - analysing the task before carrying it out.
2. Automation - POS systems / e-menus / role of tactile channels for presenting information (Sarter, 2007)
3. Training - training the operator to become aware of human processes
Thomas and Wickens (2001): cognitive tunnelling
Beilock, Bertenthal, McCoy, and Carr (2004): expert performances
Training in the restaurant environment allows for divided attention skills to be built on gradually.
If attention is divided successfully, information is stored correctly, however when the operator is focusing on a specific task (complicated order) this can cause information to be lost.
Ongoing Vs. Interrupting Task
Experts Vs. Novices in Time-sharing
Multi-tasking, a skill?
Long (1987) - the application of cognitive psychology to work...to achieve the optimisation (between people and their work)...with respect to well being and productivity.
It focuses on human mental processes and motor responses as they interact with elements of a system, and attempts to optimise human well-being (International Ergonomics Association, 2014).
: failing to formulate the right intention
: errors in which the right intention is wrongly carried out
: represent the failure to carry out any action at all, i.e., forgetfulness