Affect, Attention, and Automation
Christopher Wickens' landmark book Engineering Psychology and Human Performance brought together the seemingly unrelated fields of cognitive psychology and engineering. This book and the two subsequent editions have had an enormous impact on engineering design and had garnered more than 780 citations in the scientific literature as of June 2005. One important contribution of this book was to relate the substantial theoretical and empirical results of psychology to engineering problems associated with human-technology interaction. Another important contribution was to demonstrate the important theoretical contributions of engineering to basic research. Several recent books and reviews suggest that affect plays a critical role in cognition and in human interaction with technology. This chapter takes the study of attention into new realms by considering the role of affect in information processing. It notes that a rapidly growing body of empirical evidence now demonstrates that factors such as the emotional content of stimuli and responses to technology should no longer be ignored in the application of psychology to design.
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