Is Semantic Vigilance Impaired by Narrative Memory Demands? Theory and Applications

Epling, Samantha L., Edgar, Graham K ORCID: 0000-0003-4302-7169, Russell, Paul N. and Helton, William S. (2019) Is Semantic Vigilance Impaired by Narrative Memory Demands? Theory and Applications. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 61 (3). pp. 451-461. doi:10.1177/0018720818805602

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OBJECTIVE: Two verbal tasks were utilized in a dual-task paradigm to explore performance theories and prior dual-tasking results. BACKGROUND: Both the decline in vigilance performance over time, or vigilance decrement, and limited dual-tasking ability may be explained by limited mental resources. Resource theorists would recommend removing task demands to avoid cognitive overload, while mindlessness theorists may recommend adding engaging task demands to prevent boredom. Prior research demonstrated interference between a verbal free recall and semantic vigilance task, but exploring tasks with greater ecological validity is necessary. METHOD: A narrative memory task and semantic vigilance task were performed individually and simultaneously. Relative performance impairments were compared to a previous dual-task pairing. RESULTS: The semantic vigilance task caused performance degradation to the narrative memory task and vice versa. A vigilance decrement was not observed, and the interference was to a lesser extent than when the semantic vigilance task was paired with a free recall task. CONCLUSION: Resource theory was supported, though passive learning effects during a semantic vigilance task with novel stimuli may prevent a vigilance decrement. The interference was less than that of a previous similar dual-task pairing, but even tasks as routine as listening to a conversation or story can impair other task performance. APPLICATION: A better understanding of resource theory and dual-task performance outcomes can help inform feasible task loads and improve efficiency and safety of operators in high-risk and other professions.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Attentional processes; Dual task; Resource theory; Signal detection theory; Vigilance; Working memory
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2018 15:16
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:04

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