Towards a Framework for Reducing Cognitive Load in Manufacturing Personnel
Authors: Jessica Lindblom, Peter Thorvald
Abstract: The interest in cognitive aspects of human performance has dramatically increased in recent years in manufacturing, complementing the area of physical ergonomics, and the expanded focus on cognitive aspects may offer significant insights and contributions to industrial domains. A considerably increased interest has been directed at the role and effects cognitive load has on human performance, and ultimately on production outcome. The main question addressed is: How can an understanding of cognitive load in manufacturing lead us to design better workplaces for the personnel at the shop floor? To answer this question, we have to consider how technology interacts with work environment and with human cognition from a systems perspective. Technology should be considered a resource in the design of a better working environment, aid those activities for which we are poorly suited cognitively, and enhance those cognitive skills for which we are ideally suited. This has resulted in a potential framework of factors that might have impact on high cognitive load, consisting of three levels; internal factors, external factors, and activity space. The initial framework focuses primarily on the former factors, identifying risks where a high cognitive load might lead to difficulty of work, negatively affecting production outcome.
Keywords: Cognitive Load, Human Cognitive System, Manufacturing, Framework, Human Performance
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