Interleaving reading and acting while following procedural instructions.

Geoffrey B Duggan, Stephen J Payne

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Memory for an interactive procedure acquired from written instructions is improved if the procedure can be carried out while the instructions are being read. The size of the read-act cycle was manipulated in Experiments 1 and 2 by comparing chunked instruction-following, in which 3 or 4 steps are read then performed with single-step conditions. In both experiments, enforced chunking improved subsequent unaided performance of the procedure. In Experiment 3, participants were allowed to manage the interleaving of reading and acting. The imposition of a small behavioral cost (a single mouse point-and-click operation) on the switch between instructions and device encouraged more chunking and better subsequent test performance. The authors concluded that the interleaving of reading and acting is an important practical concern in the design of interactive procedures and that more effective chunk-based strategies can quite readily be encouraged.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-307
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Applied
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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