Skip to main content
Functional Principal Components Analysis of Workload Capacity Functions
Behavior Research Methods
  • Devin Michael Burns, Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • Joseph W. Houpt
  • James T. Townsend
  • Michael J. Endres

Workload capacity, an important concept in many areas of psychology, describes processing efficiency across changes in workload. The capacity coefficient is a function across time that provides a useful measure of this construct. Until now, most analyses of the capacity coefficient have focused on the magnitude of this function, and often only in terms of a qualitative comparison (greater than or less than one). This work explains how a functional extension of principal components analysis can capture the time-extended information of these functional data, using a small number of scalar values chosen to emphasize the variance between participants and conditions. This approach provides many possibilities for a more fine-grained study of differences in workload capacity across tasks and individuals.

Psychological Science
Keywords and Phrases
  • Workload capacity,
  • Race model,
  • Response times,
  • Principal components analysis,
  • Systems factorial technology
Document Type
Article - Journal
Document Version
File Type
Publication Date
Citation Information
Devin Michael Burns, Joseph W. Houpt, James T. Townsend and Michael J. Endres. "Functional Principal Components Analysis of Workload Capacity Functions" Behavior Research Methods Vol. 45 Iss. 4 (2013) p. 1048 - 1057 ISSN: 1554-351X
Available at: