Different Cognitive Mechanisms Account for Different Types of Procedural Steps

Abstract

Device-specific errors occur on steps that do not directly contribute to the main goal; examples are the post-completion error and device-initialisation error. Device-specific steps are more likely to be forgotten than their task-specific counterparts. We hypothesise that this is caused by a lower cognitive salience on device-specific steps, resulting in lower associated activation levels. In addition, associative links between device-specific steps may not be as strong as those between task-specific steps. The first experiment explores the differences in performance and eye movements between device- and task-specific steps. The second experiment looks more closely at the origin of procedural cues for the different types of steps. It was found that eye-movements and performance differ between the types of steps, indicating that different cognitive processes are at work. No differences were found in where cues come from, so an alternative explanation is discussed.


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