TitleHuh, what was I Doing? How People Use Environmental Cues after an Interruption
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsTrafton, JG, Altmann, EM, Brock, DP
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting
Date Published09/2005

We examine the effect of environmental cues on being interrupted while performing a task. We conducted an experiment in which participants, after an interruption, received either a blatant environmental cue of their previous action (a red arrow), a subtle environmental cue of their previous action (a cursor that was placed in the same location as their previous action), or no environmental cue at all. We found that participants in the blatant condition resumed their task faster than participants in the other two conditions. Furthermore, a subtle environmental cue was no better than no cue at all. The results support our model of memory for goals.

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