This book is concerned with two major communication problems: reading overload and the lack of cogency. Having presented solutions to the problem of reading overload, we now wish to turn our attention to some of the factors that affect cogency. Even if the problem of reading overload is solved, we are still faced with the need to write and organize literature and data in such a way as to influence the reader and society as a whole to move through reading into doing something appropriate about that which is read.
It has been pointed out in previous chapters that solving the problem of reading overload may, in and of itself, increase cogency. It is safer to decide when we know we have all of the relevant data that are organized so as to enhance assimilation, cognitive integration, memory, and recall. We cannot expect to solve the problem of reading overload overnight; and even when it is solved, there will be factors that decrease cogency, especially for the lay public. Most of the literature will still be unread, misread, ignored, and forgotten. We wish to examine some of the factors that work against cogency in the next several chapters.
In this chapter, we wish to explore how persons get the data they need to accomplish tasks. The next two chapters will examine the research and development (R&D) helix in detail, and offer solutions for improved access to condensed literatures. Finally, we shall look at human information processing