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Designing with the Mind in Mind: Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Rules by Jeff Johnson

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Chapter 11. Many Factors Affect Learning

Chapter 10 contrasted the “automatic” processes that our brain uses to carry out well-learned activities with the conscious, highly monitored, controlled processes that we use to solve novel problems and perform calculations. Automatic processes consume little or no short-term memory (attention) resources and can operate in parallel with each other, while controlled processes place high demands on short-term memory and operate one at a time (Schneider & Shiffrin, 1977).

The first time or even the first several times we perform an activity, we do it in a highly controlled and conscious manner, but with practice it becomes more and more automatic. Examples include peeling an apple, driving a car, juggling ...

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