In cognitive psychology, the term "operating space" refers to the mental workspace that is allocated for the execution of intellectual operations. It is a concept in the theory of working memory developed by Alan Baddeley and Graham Hitch, known as the "Baddeley-Hitch model." The operating space is where information is actively processed and manipulated for tasks such as problem-solving, reasoning, and decision-making.
Examples of tasks that require the use of operating space include mental arithmetic, spatial reasoning, language comprehension, and reading comprehension. When a person is performing such tasks, they are utilizing their operating space to temporarily store and manipulate information in their working memory.
An example of using operating space in mental arithmetic would be mentally adding a sequence of numbers together. The person needs to hold the numbers in their working memory and use their operating space to manipulate them as they perform the calculations. Another example is in spatial reasoning tasks, such as mentally rotating objects in three-dimensional space. This task requires the use of the operating space to store and manipulate spatial information.