This Note presents a framework for conceptualizing the adaptation to computer-mediated tasks as a function of cognitive resources and demands in relation to established baseline performance. Information work is inherently cognitive since it involves generation, transformation, and transmission of symbolic stimuli. Introducing computers challenges extant response repertoires, but research suggests that white-collar employees cope well with this initial stress. The incremental, cumulative, and continuous changes to follow — termed press — can present greater difficulty. The framework suggests two avenues for facilitating adaptation: amplifying users' cognitive resources, and modulating task demands by shaping work technology around users' needs.
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