Balancing Structural and Temporal Constraints in Multitasking Contexts

Abstract

Recent research has shown that when people multitask, both the subtask structure and the temporal constraints of the component tasks strongly influence people’s task-switching behavior. In this paper, we propose an integrated theoretical account and associated computational model that aims to quantify how people balance structural and temporal constraints in everyday multitasking. We validate the theory using data from an empirical study in which drivers performed a visual-search task while navigating a driving environment. Through examination of illustrative protocols from the model and human drivers as well as the overall fit on the aggregate glance data, we explore the implications of the theory and model for time-critical multitasking domains.


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