Re: Is there a term for this?

Subject: Re: Is there a term for this?
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 06 Feb 2012 15:17:25 -0500

My wife the quality engineer, who just tried the red-white-green-brown Stroop test and got the shivers from it, says that the right way to handle a list such as Joe mentions is to divide it into several separate lists, each no more than five items long. The separation can be categorization, or as simple as breaking the list into sets of five with spacing.

This technique indeed matches the "crow" experiment, and also the separately studied ability of people to remember up to five, six or seven things at a time, but rarely more. For example, if you are working on task A, and I interrupt you and put you to task B, and then someone interrupts your from B to do C, you can deal with that kind of interruption up to about five mental levels before you reach "stack overflow" and all mental heck breaks loose.

I think that the item not noticed is unobserved because the reader's attention is taken by the mental processing involved in keeping the other items in mind. One needs to finish with most items before going on to the next. I encounter that when my wife calls me as I'm shopping. She adds one item to my mental list. No problem. Then she recites three more, and I have to tell her to wait while I get my pen ready, and then to give me the entire list all over again. I'd think it might be my age creeping up on me, but I've yet to put my eyeglasses in the fridge.

On Mon, 06 Feb 2012 11:35:43 -0500, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> wrote:

Might be related to this:

http://snre.umich.edu/eplab/demos/st0/stroopdesc.html

Gene Kim-Eng


On Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 7:55 AM, Joe Weinmunson <litlfrog -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

A friend of mine wonders:
"So if you have a list of items on a website, printed document, or other
means of communication, and someone doesn't notice one of them, it seems to
me that moving everything to the top in bold blinking colored fonts, while
it might briefly solve the problem, does so by causing the problem for the
next two times . . . is there a term for what I'm talking about, and is it
a concept in use?"
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Is there a term for this?: From: Joe Weinmunson
Re: Is there a term for this?: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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