Components of attentional effort for repeated tasks

Andres Musalem, Ricardo Montoya, Martin Meißner, Joel Huber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This paper identifies four attentional processes that increase efficiency and accuracy in repeated lexicographic tasks using an instructed strategy approach. We propose a framework to decompose attentional effort used to make a decision into four components: Orientation, Wrong Target, Duration, and Repetition. Orientation assesses attention to decision rules and the location of relevant information. Wrong Target measures wasted effort on unneeded information. Duration gauges time spent on each piece of needed information. Repetition measures the number of views on each relevant item. Greater Orientation is associated with lower effort in other components and increased accuracy. Repetition is most variable across individuals but generates the greatest improvement with practice. Duration is less affected by the other components and shows minimal improvement with experience. Finally, Wrong Target is similarly resistant to practice, but it is the only component strongly and positively associated with making errors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-115
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Behavioral Decision Making
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • attention effort
  • decision analysis
  • eye-tracking
  • repeated tasks


Dive into the research topics of 'Components of attentional effort for repeated tasks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this