The effect of mystery, mediated by fascination, on recognition memory among college students viewing scenes of nature

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Health
Department Parks Recreation & Tourism
Author Szolosi, Andrew Martin
Title The effect of mystery, mediated by fascination, on recognition memory among college students viewing scenes of nature
Date 2011-05
Description Today?s college students face a number of new and demanding situations that often leave them feeling mentally fatigued. Recovery from this type of fatigue is contingent upon a person being able to rest directed attention, a capacity that requires effort. One approach to resting directed attention is to interact with settings that minimize the demands on that capacity. A natural setting that a person perceives as fascinating could be a critical resource in resting attention as these types of settings presumably evoke a form of attention that is undemanding or effortless. With the prospect of acquiring new information, settings that contain patterns of mystery may offer a means by which to elicit a person?s fascination. Using a 2 x 4 within-subjects experimental design, participants took part in a recognition memory task (RMT) that examined the effect that scene type and presentation duration had on a student?s capacity to direct attention. The use of presentation duration as an independent variable helped to determine whether or not the processing of certain images was more automatic (effortless) or controlled (effortful). Data garnered from the RMT revealed a significant interaction effect, F(3, 288) = 5.34, p < .05. A closer examination of participants? recognition memory performance within in each duration indicated that when given more time to study an image (5 seconds and 10 seconds), images perceived high in mystery offered the greatest advantages with regard to recognition performance. Test for mediation provided a means by which to examine the role measured fascination played in mediating the effects between scene type and recognition performance. The results indicated that fascination was an effective mediator both at the 5 sec (B = .205, p < .001) and 10 sec (B = .215, p < .01) durations. The findings from the study not only affirmed the importance of fascination as a mediating variable, but also demonstrated that perceptions of fascination evoked a form of attention that involved both top-down (effortful) and bottom-up (effortless) processing. That experience of fascination as attentional resonance, although not completely effortless, may in fact, more appropriately characterize the quality of rest that is so central to Attention Restoration Theory.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Attention restoration theory; Directed attention fatigue; Fascination; Mystery
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Andrew Martin Szolosi 2011
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 1,202,731 bytes
Source original in Marriott Library Special Collections ; BF21.5 2011 .S96
ARK ark:/87278/s6fr0b99
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2012-04-24
Date Modified 2018-03-28
ID 194314
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6fr0b99