Differences in Multitask Resource Reallocation After Change in Task Values

Abstract : Objective The objective was to characterize multitask resource reallocation strategies when managing subtasks with various assigned values. Background When solving a resource conflict in multitasking, Salvucci and Taatgen predict a globally rational strategy will be followed that favors the most urgent subtask and optimizes global performance. However, Katidioti and Taatgen identified a locally rational strategy that optimizes only a subcomponent of the whole task, leading to detrimental consequences on global performance. Moreover, the question remains open whether expertise would have an impact on the choice of the strategy. Method We adopted a multitask environment used for pilot selection with a change in emphasis on two out of four subtasks while all subtasks had to be maintained over a minimum performance. A laboratory eye-tracking study contrasted 20 recently selected pilot students considered as experienced with this task and 15 university students considered as novices. Results When two subtasks were emphasized, novices focused their resources particularly on one high-value subtask and failed to prevent both low-value subtasks falling below minimum performance. On the contrary, experienced people delayed the processing of one low-value subtask but managed to optimize global performance. Conclusion In a multitasking environment where some subtasks are emphasized, novices follow a locally rational strategy whereas experienced participants follow a globally rational strategy. Application During complex training, trainees are only able to adjust their resource allocation strategy to subtask emphasis changes once they are familiar with the multitasking environment.
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Human Factors, SAGE Publications, 2016, 〈10.1177/0018720816662543 〉
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Nadine Matton, Pierre-Vincent Paubel, Julien Cegarra, Éric Raufaste. Differences in Multitask Resource Reallocation After Change in Task Values. Human Factors, SAGE Publications, 2016, 〈10.1177/0018720816662543 〉. 〈hal-01356925〉

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