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Human information processing in man-machine interaction

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  • Communication
  • Design


WORK WITH DISPLAY UNITS 94 A. Grieco, G. Molteni, B. Piccoli and E. Occhipinti (Editors) © 1995 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. 221 Human information processing in man-machine interaction. Matthias Rauterberg Work and Organizational Psychology Unit, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Nelkenstrasse 11, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland Abstract Information and information processing are one of the most important aspects of dynamic systems. The term 'information', that is used in various contexts, might better be replaced with one that incorporates novelty, activity and learning. Many important communications of lear- ning systems are non-ergodic. The ergodicity assumption in Shannon's communication theory restricts his and all related concepts to systems that can not learn. For learning systems that interact with their environments, the more primitive concept of 'variety' will have to be used, instead of probability. Humans have a fundamental need for variety: he or she can't permanent- ly perceive the same context, he or she can't do always the same things. The fundamental need for variety leads to a different interpretation of human behaviour that is often classified as "er- rors". Variety in the relationship between a learning system and his context can be expressed as incongruity. Incongruity is the difference between internal complexity of a learning system and external complexity of the context. Traditional concepts of information processing are models of homeostasis on a basic level without learning. Activity and the learning process are driving forces that cause permanently in-homeostasis in the relationship between a learning system and his context. A suitable model for information processing of learning systems must be concep- tualised on a higher level: a homeostatic model of in-homeostasis. A concept to information processing is presented that derives an inverted U-shaped curve between incongruity and infor- mation. This concept leads to important design recommendation

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