Attention and Performance VII

Attention and Performance VII

Attention and Performance VII

Attention and Performance VII

Excerpt

The organization of the Seventh International Symposium on Attention and Performance marks a double anniversary. It not only was held 10 years after Andries Sanders took the initiative of bringing together a small group of human performance specialists, it also marked the beginnings of a new, formal association. Only now can we fully appreciate how much Sanders' initiative foreshadowed the fundamental direction of interest that has dominated experimental psychology over the last 10 years. It is now clear that the satisfaction expressed by the participants of that first conference, and by those of the next five equally successful conferences, was due, at least in part, to the style chosen for holding the meetings (i.e., small, intimate, deliberately openended, free from academic tradition or formalism), which seemed particularly suited to creative work and scientific discussion. This satisfaction expressed, in part, fulfillment of a deeply felt need: Many research workers, faced with the rapid development of ideas resulting from an even more rapid accumulation of new data, were rather distressed to see their work still rigidly classified in terms of psychological "functions" and were willing to take part in the dynamic forces that periodically restructure disciplines, temporarily concentrating research efforts on new problems and problem areas.

Thus it was logical that those responsible for the successful organization of the six preceding meetings (and the regular and internationally valued publication of their proceedings) wished to perpetuate in the statutes of an association the tone and precepts that were at the heart of this success. Hence . . .

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