Cognitive Press in Computer-Mediated Work

by Tora K. Bikson


Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.5 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback12 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

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.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.