Components of Attentional Effort for Repeated Tasks
62 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2019 Last revised: 15 May 2020
Date Written: May 14, 2020
This paper identifies four attentional processes that increase efficiency and accuracy in repeated lexicographic tasks using an instructed strategy approach. We propose a framework to decompose attentional effort used to make a decision into four components: Orientation, Wrong Target, Duration, and Repetition. Orientation assesses attention to decision rules and the location of relevant information. Wrong Target measures wasted effort on unneeded information. Duration gauges time spent on each piece of needed information. Repetition measures the number of views on each relevant item. Greater Orientation is associated with lower effort in other components and increased accuracy. Repetition is most variable across individuals but generates the greatest improvement with practice. Duration is less affected by the other components and shows minimal improvement with experience. Finally, Wrong Target is similarly resistant to practice, but it is the only component strongly and positively associated with making errors.
Keywords: Eye tracking, Repetitive tasks, Learning, Task performance, Seemingly unrelated regressions, Bayesian Statistics, Behavioral Decision Making, Decision Analysis
JEL Classification: D03, D83, D87
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation