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Wickens’ theory views performance decrement as a shortage of these different resources and describes humans as having limited capability for processing information.Cognitive resources are limited and a supply and demand problem occurs when the individual performs two or more tasks that require a single resource (as indicated by one box on the diagram).Another aspect to workload is the mathematical predictive models used in human factors analysis; generally to support the design and assessment of safety-critical systems.There is no one agreed definition of workload and consequently not one agreed method of assessing or modelling it.The assessment of operator workload has a vital impact on the design of new human-machine systems.
is illustrated in figure 1: Wickens’ MRT proposes that the human operator does not have one single information processing source that can be tapped, but several different pools of resources that can be tapped simultaneously.
One example definition by Hart and Staveland (1988) describes workload as "the perceived relationship between the amount of mental processing capability or resources and the amount required by the task".
Workload modelling is the analytical technique used to measure and predict workload.
It is not always the case that as workload increases performance decreases.
Performance can be affected by workload being too high or too low (Nachreiner, 1995).
This model was expanded into the demand-control-support model that suggests that the combination of high control and high social support at work buffers the effects of high demands.