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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Maths
  • Word count: 2528

A dual-task study designed to permit inferences about cognitive processes

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

DSE212 Exploring Psychology

TMA 03  Part II: Experiment                 Jennifer Verney

May 2007                Personal ID: R6402528

Part II: Experiment 2

Experiment 2A: A dual-task study

A dual-task study designed to permit inferences about cognitive processes

Abstract

Embodied in a theory put forward to Kahneman (1973) (cited by Edgar. G. 2002) is that information processing powers of the human brain is limited and explains why it is not possible to process all incoming information simultaneously.

Previous studies have shown that in dual-task studies certain tasks interfere with each other and certain tasks do not. Posner and Boies (1971) (cited by Edgar. G. 2002) study suggests that, participants were limited in their resources to process and respond when required to manually respond to a visual and auditory task simultaneously, “providing support for the notion of a limited pool of resources” (Edgar, G. 2002)  

A different result was obtained by McLeod (1977) (cited by Edgar. G. 2002) at a later date who changed one feature – participants had to complete the same tasks but were required to respond manually and vocally.  “The implication is that there is a separate pool of resources available to make manual responses independent of the resources available for making vocal responses” (Edgar, G. 2002).

In the current study, participants were asked to place a tick against a word which was either a colour (condition 1) or a number (condition 2) while simultaneously being asked to verbally answer simple mathematical calculations.

...read more.

Middle

However, a later study carried out by McLeod (1977) cited by Edgar. G. 2002) showed that reaction time was not slowed to the same tasks, if the responses required were in separate modes, in this case a button press (manual task) and saying ‘bip’ (verbal task).  This implies that either one or more of the tasks is not drawing on the central processor at all or that each task is accessing a separate pool of resources (Edgar, G. 2002).  The tasks were different in modality and also unrelated.  

The multiple-resource theories of attention (Navon and Gopher, 1979; Wickens, 1992, cited by Edgar. G. 2002) suggest that “different pools of resources are available for different types of tasks” (Edgar, G. 2002) as opposed to all tasks drawing on a single central pool of resources.  

In the experiment carried out in this report, the responses required separate modes – in the form of ticking a box (manual) and simple mathematical calculations (verbal) but condition 2 provided a similarity because the words requiring a tick against them were numbers.  This provided a common denominator in the form of numbers being present in the manual task and numbers being present in the verbal task and it took longer on average for participants to complete condition 2 compared to condition 1.

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Conclusion

lspan="1" rowspan="1">

F

1

84.00

6

28

F

2

45.00

7

41

M

1

51.00

8

28

F

2

53.00

9

42

M

1

64.00

10

35

M

2

88.00

11

32

F

1

71.00

12

43

M

2

65.00

13

24

M

1

49.00

14

23

F

2

63.00

15

23

M

1

66.00

16

23

M

2

44.00

17

22

M

1

61.00

18

23

M

2

42.00

19

37

M

1

60.00

20

54

M

2

66.00

21

45

F

1

30.00

22

64

M

2

75.00

23

48

F

1

40.00

24

35

F

2

45.00

25

35

F

1

43.00

26

36

F

2

57.00

27

32

F

1

50.00

28

36

F

2

62.00

Appendix 5

The attached sheet is the output for Independent-Samples T Test using SPSS

...read more.

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