Welcome back to the Safety of Work podcast. Today, we discuss whether “pointing and calling” improves reliability of action.

Episode Notes

As our workplaces become more automated, it becomes the task of human workers to monitor the automated actions. At times, this may require a physical response or action on behalf of the human worker. So, while the physical load of workers has been lessened, their mental and emotional load has increased.

Tune in to hear us define pointing and calling and the ensuing discussion about its efficacy within the workplace.


  • What is pointing and calling?
  • The lack of research on pointing and calling.
  • How pointing and calling potentially slows down work.
  • Measuring mental and physical demands.
  • Practical takeaways.


“You point your index finger directly at that thing and you say aloud what that thing is currently showing”

“But this pointing gesture also acts as a cue to trigger this attentional shift towards the information.”

“The researchers did not state clearly what their hypotheses were. For those of you out there who are doing research, this is a big no-no when you’re doing an experiment…”


The Effects of “Finger Pointing and Calling” on Cognitive Control Processes in the Task-Switching Paradigm