Divided attention is the ability:
1. to execute several mental activities at almost the same time (i.e. when switching attention from outside the aircraft to the airspeed indicator on the instrument panel)
2. to monitor the progress of a motor programme (i.e. flying or taxiing the aircraft) on a relatively subconscious level, while making a radio call at the same time (requiring a rather conscious level)
3. to select information and check if it is relevant to the task in hand. At the same time no other operation can be performed.
4. to delegate tasks to the co-pilot while concentrating on the procedures
- DIVIDED ATTENTION
This is the alternative management of several matters of interest at (almost) the same time, as when monitoring the progress of a motor program on a relatively subconscious level whilst making a radio call (time sharing). In this case, some tasks may suffer at the expense of others, especially if they are similar in nature.
- SELECTIVE ATTENTION
With selective attention, one gives greater attention to one or more sources of input out of several. Such a selective mechanism is required because the resources of the Central Decision Maker and short-term memory are limited. It is the process during which information is sampled to see if it is relevant, which makes you able to detect information meant for you, such as your callsign, even if you are not specifically monitoring the source
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