Digital computers have given us much insight into human information processing, including of late why we are different. A recent book (Montague, Read. (2006). Why Choose This Book? New York: Penguin Publishing Group) examines human information processing - why and how it evolved to be so different from the computer on which I’m typing this.
The basic premise is that digital computers were created with little constraint on power consumption; whereas humans developed to run essentially on stored energy whose replenishment (food) was uncertain. Minimizing energy consumption drove development of the human brain (which also prevents your head from catching on fire). It is estimated that power consumption for the human brain is about 20 watts.
The author considered what type of computing machine might be developed if the goal is to minimize energy consumption. He came up with several principles.
So be careful in making analogies between the information processing of computers and humans. Different constraints in the development of each (i.e., power consumption) has created two very different ways of processing information. In addition, understand how the human will be using the information presented, slow, imprecise, matching to models, and oriented toward goals.
Copyright © 2008 Beville Engineering, Inc. , All Rights Reserved
RELATED EXTERNAL MEDIA
|Consortium Reports New Findings on Alarm Rates||Automation World|
|How Many Alarms Can An Operator Handle||Chemical Processing|
|Impact of Alarm Rates and Interface Design on Operator Performance||Automation World|
|Operator Interfaces: Moving from Comfortable to Most Effective||Automation World|
|Operator Performance as a Function of Alarm Rate and Interface Design||Mesa.org|
This year's Fall meeting for the Center for Operator Performance will be October 24-26 in Corpus Christi. For more information, please contact Lisa Via. Guests are always welcome!
Our summer newsletter is now available. Click here!
Take our short survey on operator span of control. Click here (new window)
David Strobhar's book, "Human Factors in Process Plant Operation," is now available in both hardcover and Kindle e-book.
Copyright © 1996-2019 Beville Engineering, Inc. All rights reserved. (937)434-1093. Beville@Beville.com