Toward an Antiphony Framework for Dividing Task into Subtasks

Task analysis is a staple of ergonomics, neuroergonomics, human factors, and experimental psychology inquiry, and often benefits from granularity beyond the task level to the subtask level. The concept and challenge of identifying the subcomponents of tasks are neither new, nor solved. Practitioners routinely identify individually internally consistent and yet conflicting subdivisions. The challenge of producing reliable, valid subtask data across efforts recommends a unified framework for identifying consistent subtask divisions within tasks. A framework is here forwarded, based upon universal “antiphony” turn-taking behavior in human-human interaction, but adapted to address the highly scripted vocabulary of human-machine interaction. Practical application to a real-world vehicle interface is demonstrated, an example discussed in the light of research design, applied use, and future improvement.

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