Write an extended letter to the Minister of Transport explaining why a hands-free cellular phone kit should, or should not, be allowed to be used while driving a vehicle (e.g. a car, a minibus tax, a bus, etc.).
In your answer you may wish to consider the different assumptions and principles underlying capacity and resource theories of divided attention, with particular reference to the multiple resource model, the impact of inattention blindness and change blindness, as well as the role of practice and automaticity. These should be related to the tasks of driving a vehicle and being involved in a cellular phone conversation.
Readings that you may find useful for the completion of your essay:
Atchley, P. & Dressel, J. (2004). Conversation limits the functional field of view. Human Factors, 46, 664-673
Briem, V. & Hedman, L.R. (1995). Behavioural effects of mobile telephone use during simulated driving. Ergonomics, 38, 2536-2562
Brown, I.D., Tickner, A.H. & Simmonds, D.C.V. (1969). Interference between concurrent tasks of driving and telephoning. Journal of Applied Psychology, 53, 419-424
McCarley, J.S., Vais, M.J., Pringle, H., Kramer, A.F., Irwin, D.E. & Strayer, D.L. (2004). Conversation disrupts change detection in complex traffic scenes. Human Factors, 46, 424-436
Recarte, M.A. & Nunes, L.M. (2000). Effects of verbal and spatial-imagery tasks on eye fixations while driving. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 6, 31-43
Strayer, D.L. & Johnston, W.A. (2001). Driven to distraction: dual-task studies of simulated driving and conversing on a cellular telephone. Psychological Science, 12, 462-466
Wickens, C.D. (1992). Engineering Psychology and Human Performance (2nd Ed.). Chapter 9: Attention, time-sharing, and workload (pp. 364-386)
Outcomes of the essay assignment:
Once you have completed the essay assignment you should be able to:
• Identify and describe the relevant cognitive theory
• Evaluate which theory (or theories) is relevant to the applied example
• Apply the relevant cognitive theory to a real-world example (driving a car whilst speaking on a cell phone using a hands-free kit or recovered memories for witness testimony)
• Synthesise your critical thoughts and ideas into an extended letter-type assignment
• Formulate your thoughts into a coherent critical argument regarding the impact of cognition on real-life experiences
• Describe and present your ideas and deliberations in a clear and concise manner
• Apply appropriate APA referencing formats
• Appreciate the role that cognitive theory can play in our understanding of real-life application areas
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