The effect the duration and location of rest breaks have on sustained attention and reaction time

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Publication Type honors thesis
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Psychology
Faculty Mentor David Strayer
Creator Greenberg, Kevin
Title The effect the duration and location of rest breaks have on sustained attention and reaction time
Year graduated 2016
Date 2016-04
Description Humans general system of sustained attention is susceptible to fatigue. The Attention Restoration Theory postulates when the system is fatigued exposure to natural environments may help to restore the fatigued resources. However, the duration and location of exposure needed is unknown, therefore the present study looks to examine what is the appropriate duration of rest and location needed to maximize the restorative attentional benefits natural environments have to offer. To test the question, the present study had forty-one participants exposed to either a lab or a natural environment. Within the environments, the participants completed the Sustained Attention to Response task (SART) four times with rest breaks administer ed between each task. The rest breaks were 5-, 10-, and 20-minutes. The SART results were calculated as the mean difference from the SART after the rest break to the SART before the rest break to determine if the rest break had any effect on performance. Using a two-way repeated measure ANOVA, the data indicated that a 5-minute rest break in nature resulted in faster reaction times, but also a decrease in tap accuracy, suggesting a speed-accuracy trade off. Further, a 5-minute rest in a natural environment is more restorative to sustained attention than a 20-minute rest within the same setting. However, a 20-minute rest in a quiet inside location will also restore attentional resources. The appropriate duration of rest needed to maximize restorative benefits depends on the type of location that the rest break occurs.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Rest periods; Hours of labor
Language eng
Rights Management (c) Kevin Greenberg
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 25,082 bytes
Identifier honors/id/97
Permissions Reference URL
ARK ark:/87278/s62c27b2
Setname ir_htoa
Date Created 2016-07-21
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 205749
Reference URL
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