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Two measures of attentional-resource effectiveness in monitoring and detection tasks in nuclear power plants are developed based on cost-benefit principle and are validated in experimental studies. The underlying principle of the measures is that information sources should be selectively attended according to their importance. One of the two measures is the fixation to importance ratio (FIR), which represents attentional resource (eye fixations) spent on an information source compared to the importance of the information source. The other measure is selective attention effectiveness (SAE), which incorporates the FIRs of all information sources. The FIR represents the specific effectiveness of an information source, whereas the SAE represents the overall effectiveness of all information sources. Frequency and the duration of eye fixations of an operator on information sources are used as attentional resource. The analytic hierarchy process was used to evaluate the importance of information sources. Experiments were conducted to validate the proposed measure. From the results of the experiments, the FIR and the SAE are concluded to be promising measures of effectiveness in monitoring and detection during complex diagnostic tasks.