Over-Estimating Cognition Time: The Benefits of Modeling Interaction

Gary Jones and Frank E. Ritter

Tying a cognitive model to a task simulation and having it interact using a model eye and hand provides many benefits, such as accounting for both the physical constraints of the task and the time spent interacting with the task. A cognitive model and task simulation of a physical problem solving task (constructing a pyramid fi'om 21 blocks) are presented. Analysing the interactions between the model and the task simulation shows that approximately 50% of the model’s task time is spent on interaction, that is, eye movements, eye fixations, and hand movements. The breakdown shows that any cognitive model of a physical task, including all human-computer interaction tasks, that does not simulate task interactions is likely to over-estimate the time spent on cognition and therefore attribute too much emphasis to cognition and cognitive learning.

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