Complex Cognition : papers by Lisanne Bainbridge

Concepts for complex tasks : human factors/ ergonomics, cognitive modelling, cognitive architecture, mental workload, situation awareness, cognitive error, skill and training, interface design, automation.

Book chapters
Summary papers
Cognitive processes in complex tasks
Skill and Workload
Practical implications
Other items

Thank you for visiting this site. I hope you will find something of interest.

Many aspects of the way in which human beings do complex dynamic tasks are not well understood, and the mechanisms underlying this behaviour are not adequately accounted for by current models of cognitive processes. So there is not yet a firm basis for designing to help a person doing such tasks.

The aims of this site are to :
point out some of these issues,
make available some past papers,
'circulate' my draft papers for comment.

The papers on this site are of two types :
a. draft chapters of a proposed book, for comment (there are none of these on the site at present).
b. past papers. The papers which are currently available on the site are indicated by an underlined access link. Click on the link to see the paper.

Some of these papers were written over 20 years ago, but I think they raise issues many of which are still not adequately accounted for. The technologies and the tasks may have changed over the last 3 decades, but the human cognitive mechanisms investigated in the 1960s and 1970s are still in operation.

Information for new readers

Summaries of cognitive processes in complex tasks

These monographs are planned as the basis of the proposed book.

(1995) Processes underlying human performance.
An unconventional review of the general principles underlying cognitive human factors/ ergonomics.
to appear in Garland, D.J., Hopkin, V.D. and Wise, J.A. (eds) Aviation Human Factors, Erlbaum, due November 1998.
This paper has been divided into three sections for ease of downloading, but the sections are not intended to be read separately.
1. Using the interface, the bases of classic HF/E (71K text + 53K graphics).
2. Complex tasks (61K text + 32K graphics + 24K graphics on request).
3. Mental workload, learning, errors (55K text + 10K graphics).
4. References specific to this paper (14K text)

(1993) Building up behavioural complexity from a cognitive processing element.
A cognitive architecture to account for situation awareness and the choice of adaptive context-sensitive behaviour, using cognitive goals and meta-knowledge.
Department of Psychology, University College London.
This paper has been divided into sections for ease of downloading, but the sections are not intended to be read separately.
(Apologies for the poor quality of many of the figures - at least it is obvious they are the originals !)
1. Introduction (16K text)
2. The cognitive processing element. (24K text + 19K graphics)
3. Ways of meeting the cognitive needs (30K text + 17K graphics)
4. Sequencers and the contextual overview in working storage. (26K text + 30K graphics + 42K graphics on request)
5. Working storage : updating, and capacity. 32K text + 23K graphics + 36K graphics on request)
6. Choosing how to meet the cognitive needs, and the implications for mental workload. (21K text + 18K graphics)
7. Learning and modes of processing. (22K text + 7K graphics)
8. Knowledge structures (16K text + 4K graphics)
9. Conclusion (9K text)
References. (8K text)

Case studies of process operation

(1974) Analysis of verbal protocols from a process control task, (34K text + 36K graphics).
A summary of the cognitive processes of operators controlling the electricity supply to electric-arc steel-making furnaces.
In Edwards, E. and Lees, F.P. (eds.) The Human Operator in Process Control, Taylor and Francis Ltd, London, pp. 146-158.

(1971) The influence of display type on decision making. (19K text + 4K graphics).
Differences in cognitive processes when using analogue and digital displays.
In Institute of Electrical Engineers Conference Publication No. 80, Displays, pp. 209-215.

General cognitive processes

Working storage

(1975) Working memory in air-traffic control. (18K text + 12K graphics)
The capacity and content of working memory in a complex task.
Department of Psychology, University of Reading.

(1975) The representation of working storage and its use in the organisation of behaviour.(61K text + 5K graphics + 28K graphics on request)
Described by title.
In Singleton, W.T. and Spurgeon, P. (eds.) Measurement of Human Resources, Taylor and Francis, London, pp. 165-183.

Cognitive operations

(1981) Mathematical equations or processing routines ? (74K text)
The reasons for the need to replace models based on engineering concepts with models based on cognitive processes.
In Rasmussen, J. and Rouse, W.B. (eds.) Human Detection and Diagnosis of System Failures. NATO Conference Series III : Human Factors, Vol. 15. Plenum Press, New York, pp. 259-286.

(1992) Mental models in cognitive skill : the case of industrial process operation. (46K text + 23K graphics + 16K graphics on request)
An overview of a proposed cognitive architecture for complex tasks.
In Rogers, Y., Rutherford, A. and Bibby, P. (eds.) Models in the Mind. Academic Press, London, pp. 119-143.

(1984) Diagnostic skill in process operation, (61K text)
Described by title.
Proceedings of the 1984 International Conference on Occupational Ergonomics, Volume 2 : Reviews
. May 7-9, Toronto, Canada, pp. 1-10.

(1989) The relation between the categories in 'Types of Skill' and in the 'Skill- Rule- Knowledge based' schema. (7K text)
Problems with the semantics of describing different types of cognitive process.
Department of Psychology, University College London.

Organisation of knowledge and organisation of behaviour

(1988) Types of Representation, (48K text + 62K graphics)
Different representations, and the implications for cognitive processing.
In Goodstein, L.P., Anderson, H.B. and Olsen, S.E. (eds.) Tasks, Errors and Mental Models. Taylor and Francis Ltd., London, pp. 70-91.

(1993) Types of hierarchy imply types of model, (48K text).
Different ways of organising complex knowledge structures, and the processes required for handling them.
Ergonomics, Special Issue on Cognitive Processes in Complex Tasks
, 36 (11), 1399-1412.

(see also)
(1997) The change in concepts needed to account for human behaviour in complex dynamic tsasks.
IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Part A: Systems and Humans, 27, 351-359.

The interrelation of skill and workload

(1978) Forgotten alternatives in skill and workload. (61K text + 2K graphics)
Changes in cognitive processes with the development of skill, and the implications for mental workload.
, 21, 169-185. Simultaneously published as : (1977) Possibilités oubliées en matière d'habilété et de charge de travail. Le Travail Humain, 40, 203-224.

(1974) Problems in the assessment of mental load (65K text + 9K graphics)
The adaptation of cognitive processes to task demands and mental capacity : some reasons for the lack of correlation between objective and subjective mental workload.
Le Travail Humain, 37 (2), 279-302.

(1989) Development of skill, reduction of workload. (63K text + 93K graphics)
Described by title.
In Bainbridge, L. and Ruiz Quintanilla, S.A. (eds.), Developing Skills with Information Technology, Wiley, pp. 87-116.

(1993) Difficulties and errors in complex dynamic tasks. (87K text + 16K graphics)
Described by title
Department of Psychology, University College London.

Practical implications

(1991) Multiplexed VDT display systems,(58K text + 10K graphics)
Problems in the design of multi-format display systems for complex tasks.
In Weir, G.R.S. and Alty, J.L. (eds.) Human-Computer Interaction and Complex Systems. Academic Press, London, pp. 189-210.

(1993) Planning the training of a complex skill, (62K text).
Integrating the many types and levels of knowledge and skill involved.
Le Travail Humain, Special Issues in Honour of Jacques Leplat, 56 (2/3), 211-232.

Control, and cognitive, automation

(1983) Ironies of automation (32K text)
Increasing levels of automation can increase, rather than decrease, the problems of supporting the human operator.
, 19, 775-779. Reprinted in : (1987) Rasmussen, J., Duncan, K. and Leplat, J. (eds.) New Technology and Human Error, Wiley, Chichester, pp. 276-283.

(1990) Will expert systems solve the operator's problems ?
The 'ironies of automation' concepts applied to cognitive automation.
In Roe, R.A., Antalovitz, M. and Dienes, E. (eds.), Proceedings of the Workshop on Technological Change Process and its Impact on Work. September 9-13, Siofok, Hungary, pp. 197-218. Translation published as : (1991) Les systèmes experts resoudront-ils tous les problèmes des operateurs ? In Neboit, M. and Fadier, E. (eds.) Proceedings of the Colloquium on Facteurs Humains de la Fiabilité et de la Securité des Systèmes Complexes. April, INRS, Nancy, France, pp. 17-26.

Knowledge elicitation

(1985) Inferring from verbal reports to cognitive processes.
Described by title.
In Brenner, M., Brown, J. and Canter, D. (eds.) The Research Interview : uses and approaches. Academic Press, London, pp. 201-215.

(1986) Asking Questions and accessing knowledge
A brief review of problems and techniques.
Future Computing Systems
, 1, 143-149.

The most recent paper on this topic is :
(1996) Bainbridge, L. and Sanderson, P. Verbal Protocol Analysis.
In Wilson, J.R. and Corlett, E.N. (eds.) Evaluation of Human Work. Taylor and Francis, London, pp. 169-201.

Other items

Information for new readers.
Figures (Figures are at present only accessible with the papers).
References. (50K)
Comment form. Comments welcome.

Thank you for your interest. I look forward to your comments.
Lisanne Bainbridge

Version 9 : 7 September 1998

The material on this site is copyright : ©1997, 1998 Lisanne Bainbridge

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