Deconstruction Skilled Typing Performance: An Investigation of Key Selection and Keystroke Execution Processes
Snyder, Kristy Marie
For many, typing is ubiquitous and effortless. Nevertheless, it is a complex behavior that requires the cognitive system to direct specific fingers to specific keys in specific orders quickly and accurately. This study investigates the processing structure that underlies skilled typing performance through a series of additive factors analyses (Sternberg, 1969) to determine whether the choice of which key to press (i.e., key selection) and the production of the corresponding keystroke (i.e., keystroke execution) are processed separately in independent, serial stages or jointly within a common stage. The effects of two key selection factors (i.e., number of orthographic neighbors and number of meanings) and two execution factors (i.e., movement type and keystroke distance) are assessed on the speed and accuracy of first and non-first letter keystrokes produced by skilled typists as they transcribed discretely presented words. The results are consistent with the conclusion that key selection and keystroke execution are processed independently by two serial stages.