Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

Multiple Resource Theory

  • Michael D. BasilEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_25

Synonyms

Definition

The Multiple Resource Theory asserts that people have a limited set of resources available for mental processes. These resources can be thought of as a pool of energy that is used for a variety of mental operations, from sensory-level processing to meaning-level processing. This shared pool of resources are allocated across different tasks, modalities, and processing. This theory explains how difficult single-tasks can run into processing difficulties and how dual-task performance is more likely to be hampered by performing similar tasks than dissimilar tasks. Multiple resource theory has been applied in psychology to areas such as dual-task performance as well as applied areas such as communication to understand how people make sense of television messages and in consumer research to understand how people process information about a product.

Theoretical Background

One of the most fundamental assumptions in cognitive...

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References

  1. Basil, M. D. (1994). Multiple resource theory I: Application to television viewing. Communication Research, 21, 177–207.Google Scholar
  2. Lang, A. (2000). The limited capacity model of mediated message processing. Journal of Communication, 50, 46–70.Google Scholar
  3. Lang, A., & Basil, M. D. (1998). Attention, resource allocation, and communication research: What do secondary reaction task reaction times measure, anyway? In M. E. Roloff (Ed.), Communication yearbook (Vol. 21, pp. 443–473). Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  4. Wickens, C. D. (1980). The structure of attentional resources. In R. Nickerson (Ed.), Attention and performance (Vol. VIII, pp. 239–257). Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  5. Wickens, C. D. (1984). Processing resources in attention. In R. Parasuraman & D. R. Davies (Eds.), Varieties of attention (pp. 63–102). Orlando: Academic.Google Scholar
  6. Wickens, C. D. (2002). Multiple resources and performance prediction. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, 3, 159–177.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada