A current view on dual-task paradigms and their limitations to capture cognitive load

  • Dual-task paradigms encompass a broad range of approaches to measure cognitive load in instructional settings. As a common characteristic, an additional task is implemented alongside a learning task to capture the individual’s unengaged cognitive capacities during the learning process. Measures to determine these capacities are, for instance, reaction times and interval errors on the additional task, while the performance on the learning task is to be maintained. Opposite to retrospectively applied subjective ratings, the continuous assessment within a dual-task paradigm allows to simultaneously monitor changes in the performance related to previously defined tasks. Following the Cognitive Load Theory, these changes in performance correspond to cognitive changes related to the establishment of permanently existing knowledge structures. Yet the current state of research indicates a clear lack of standardization of dual-task paradigms over study settings and task procedures. Typically, dual-task designs are adapted uniquely for each study, albeit with some similarities across different settings and task procedures. These similarities range from the type of modality to the frequency used for the additional task. This results in a lack of validity and comparability between studies due to arbitrarily chosen patterns of frequency without a sound scientific base, potentially confounding variables, or undecided adaptation potentials for future studies. In this paper, the lack of validity and comparability between dual-task settings will be presented, the current taxonomies compared and the future steps for a better standardization and implementation discussed.
Author:Shirin Esmaeili Bijarsari
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in psychology
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
Place of publication:Lausanne
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/05/20
Date of first Publication:2021/05/20
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/06/30
Tag:cognitive load; cognitive load measurement; comparability; dual task; measurement; secondary task; taxonomy; validity
Issue:art. 648586
Page Number:6
First Page:1
Last Page:6
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Open-Access-Publikationsfonds:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0