Conspicuity and Accidents: Data Versus Resource-Limited Differentiations

  • P. A. HancockEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 824)


Accident events frequently involved failures of conspicuity. These failures can be predominantly sensory in nature in which, either the world itself does not provide sufficient informational cues such that they are masked or diminished in some fashion, or the sensory surfaces of the observing individual prove insufficient to register the critical cues for action. In contrast to sensory conspicuity stands cognitive conspicuity. Here, the cues from the environment may be very clear and also be efficiently registered by the individual perceiver. Yet, their significance may remain unrecognized due to the experiential and/or attentional limitations of that person. Sensory restrictions are often equated to inherent limits in bottom-up processing. In turn, cognitive limitations are linked to restrictions on top-down processing. In this brief paper, I look to explore a further link to the constructs of data-limited and resource-limited capacities which are closely aligned to the conspicuity dimensions identified. Most especially, I look to introduce the co-action of these processes and how their interactive effects play into various forms of accident with examples taken primarily from ground transportation.


Conspicuity Accidents Data-limited processing Resource-limited processing 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA

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