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Predicting individual differences in distractibility Aks, Deborah June 1988

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PREDICTING  INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES  IN DISTRACTIBILITY  by Deborah June Aks  B.A., The S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y at  Binghamton, N.Y.,  o f New York 1984  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY  We a c c e p t to  The  this  t h e s i s as conforming  the r e q u i r e d  University  standard  of B r i t i s h  Columbia  December, 1988  ©  Deborah June A k s , 1988  In  presenting  degree freely  this  at the  thesis  in  partial  fulfilment  of  University  of  British  Columbia,  I agree  available for  copying  of  department publication  this or of  reference  thesis by  this  his thesis  permission.  Department The University of British Vancouver, Canada  DE-6 (2/88)  for  and study. scholarly  or for  her  I further  purposes  representatives.  financial gain  the  requirements that  agree  may  be  It  is  shall not  that  the  Library  an  advanced  shall make it  permission for  granted  by  understood be  for  allowed  the that  without  extensive  head  of  my  copying  or  my  written  ii  Abstract Little  is  distractible problem  while  by  arousal,  known  distractors  during  to screen  how  one  of various  subjective  will  a speeded  distractibility.  report  respond  to  v i s u a l search  The  under  predictor  of  subexperiment  f o r purposes of of s t a t e  susceptibility  to  which  turned  These  findings  individual  i s one who  Type A b e h a v i o r  variables  as  presence  of  task.  The  inability  of the targeted used  here,  as  task  involving  was a d m i n i s t e r e d  t o 308  a  Each  separate  clarity. arousal  were  as w e l l  as  ineffective The  subjective  p r e d i c t o r s of  results  were  more  p e r s o n a l i t y and i n t e l l i g e n c e v a r i a b l e s  o u t t o be e f f e c t i v e p r e d i c t o r s indicate  personality,  the  treated  distractibility.  for specific  individual  distractor conditions.  is  and t r a i t  distractibility  encouraging  conditions,  distractibility  Measures of  search task  v i s u a l and a u d i t o r y  one  study approaches t h i s  out s t i m u l i which a r e independent  subjects  and  makes  i s not. This  and  m a t c h i n g under s p e e d e d  reports  what  the e f f e c t i v e n e s s  intelligence of  item  another  assessing  predictors  defines  about  that  the prototype  t e n d s t o be h i g h e r  patterns  of d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y .  and lower  of a  distractible  i n obsessive/compulsive  in intelligence.  iii  Table  Title  of Contents  Page  i  Abstract Table  ii  of Contents  List  of Tables  List  of Figures  i i i vi v i i  Acknowledgements  vii i  Chapter  1: I n t r o d u c t i o n  1  Chapter  2: The d i s t r a c t i o n  task  Is d i s t r a c t i o n  .9 generalizable?  The makings o f a d i s t r a c t o r  15  Method  18  The d i s t r a c t i o n Results Chapter  9  3: S u b j e c t i v e  test  18  & Discussion  21  report  of  distractability:  A p r e d i c t o r of d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y ? Method Stimulus Results  26 28  S e l e c t i v i t y Inventory & Discussion  28 ....31  iv  Chapter  4:  Arousal: A p r e d i c t o r of d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y ? Arousal  defined  Physiological Varying  35  basis  of a r o u s a l  36  responses to s t i m u l a t i o n :  Habituation Arousal,  and  o r i e n t i n g r e s p o n s e . . . 37  distraction  Information Response  rate  &  performance...39  - arousal  - arousal  Yerkes-Dodson  theory....40  theory  41  law  41  Measuring a r o u s a l  43  Method  46  Results Chapter  35  & Discussion  47  5: P e r s o n a l i t y : A p r e d i c t o r of d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y ?  51  Extraversion/Introversion  51  Sensation  53  Seeking  Obsessive/Compulsive Type A/  behavior  Type B p e r s o n a l i t y  Method  54 55 58  E y s e n c k P e r s o n a l i t y I n v e n t o r y . . . . 59 Sensation  Seeking  Scale  Obsessive/Compulsive  Inventory...61  Framingham Type A I n v e n t o r y Results  & Discussion  59  61 62  Chapter  6:  Intelligence: A predictor  of d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y ?  66  Method  69  Wonderlic  Test  71  Spelling  72  Component A s s e s s m e n t  & Discussion  .  7: C o n c l u s i o n s  actual  ....73 76  Subjective  impressions  versus  distractibility  Subjective  76  p e r c e p t i o n of  distractibility  79  Summary c o n c l u s i o n s  80  References  82  A p p e n d i x A: The D i s t r a c t i o n A p p e n d i x B: S t i m u l u s Appendix  70  Quick Test  Results Chapter  Personnel  Test  Selectivity  98 Inventory  C: T h a y e r A r o u s a l S e l f - R e p o r t  112 118  vi  List  of  Tables  Table  1:  Group p e r f o r m a n c e on  the  distraction  test...22  Table  2:  Stimulus s e l e c t i v i t y  and  distractibility  Pearson C o r r e l a t i o n s Table  3:  Arousal  and  the  32  d i s t r a c t i o n task  -  Pearson C o r r e l a t i o n s Table  4:  Distractibility  and  48 arousability -  Pearson C o r r e l a t i o n s Table  5:  P e r s o n a l i t y and  49  distractibility  -  Pearson C o r r e l a t i o n s Table  6:  I n t e l l i g e n c e and  62  number  correct  Pearson C o r r e l a t i o n s Table  7:  Generalized of  the  Table  8:  73  p r o f i c i e n c y across  d i s t r a c t i o n task  Pearson C o r r e l a t i o n s I n t e l l i g e n c e and  conditions  -  (standardized  standardized  9:  Multiple Visual Auditory  regression/  Stepwise  74  -  distractibility distractibility  General d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y Table  scores)..74  distractibility  measures - P e a r s o n C o r r e l a t i o n s Table  -  10:Stimulus s e l e c t i v i t y personality  inventory  77 and  - Pearson C o r r e l a t i o n s  79  vii  List  Figure  1: Task e x t r i n s i c  Figure  2: Sample without  Figure  3: Sample with  Figure  items  of  and  intrinsic distractors...16  from the d i s t r a c t i o n  distractors items  Experimental  test  test  present  18  from the d i s t r a c t i o n  distractors  4: P r e and p o s t  Figures  test  present arousal  and c o n t r o l  20 self groups  report 48  viii  Acknowledgements  There helping I  a  number  of  i n d i v i d u a l s who d e s e r v e  me t h r o u g h t h e h a r r o w i n g moments  would  supply  are  like of  thank my a d v i s o r  attention  contributions meaning  to  of  to  and  o f my t h e s i s  Stanley  assistance.  creativity,  experience.  f o r h i s endless  Some o f S t a n ' s  t h i s academic endeavor,  clarity,  Coren  credit for  include  scientific  greatest  teaching  me t h e  exploration,  and  humility. I  am  grateful  preliminary art  of  draft  t o Peter  Suedfeld  of t h i s t h e s i s , as w e l l  being meticulous  i n research.  Lawrence Ward f o r h i s w i l l i n g n e s s well  as f o r h i s i n s i g h t f u l And  through  thanks i t a l l .  f o r a thorough review of a  a  as f o r t e a c h i n g  I would a l s o  like  t o s e r v e on my M.A.  me t h e  t o thank  committee as  comments.  million  to  Aaron  for helping  me r e m a i n  sane  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 1  Chapter  1  Introduction "My items  experience  which  I  implication attention This  James' q u o t e responsible  of  d i s t r a c t i o n and  of  measures  personality  focus  of  In screen  in  this out  impaired  and  i s to  in tasks  the  presence  Viewed by  These  p.402).  The  be  investigate  examined  measures  arousability,  i n t e l l i g e n c e . In and  in  experiences.  measures as  predict  in  that  include well  e s s e n c e , the  a  studied  discussion  of  in a task.  to  the  a as  main  individual  of  loss  than  of  ambient  Since  distraction,  relevant  to  the  we  theories  present  to  itself  in  s t i m u l i must  be  irrelevant  f o c a l i z a t i o n and  1975).  inability  It manifests  i n which r e l e v a n t  some d e f i n i t i o n s and are  refers  f r o m models of a t t e n t i o n ,  (Norman,  frequently  that  those  different orientations  psychological  study, d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y  characterized  theories  (James, 1890  Only  distractibility.  in  consciousness  to.  experience w i l l  various  irrelevant stimuli  (distractors). is  thesis  performance  processed  and  distractibility,  this  differences  i s that  distractibility.  self-report of  mind"  attend  f o r d i f f e r e n t phenomenal  between a t t e n t i o n  predict  (agree to)  shape my  link  terms may  notice,  of are  i s what I  stimuli  distractibility concentration  attention will used  problem.  begin in  is  of more  with  a  attentional  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in Distractibility 2  According process  t o Hebb (1955), a t t e n t i o n  similar  selectivity. opposite  neural  association  selection  hypothetical that  i s , of  produces  course,  the  of d i s t r a c t i o n .  of  limited  a  Successful  "Selectivity items  to  is a  of a t t e n t i o n  incoming  involves  information  will  information-transmitting  t h e problem of which occupy the organism's  capacity"  (Meldman, 1970,  p.200) . "Concentration characterizes shiftable  From  and  attention;  and d i v i s i b l e "  the  above  (Best,  i t should  in  the  material This of  attention  that  differ  ability  in to  review,  specify  the  bear d i r e c t l y The theory  involves  attended  can provide their  screen focusing  that  below  one common  feature  selectivity  should  be t h e o n l y  s t i m u l i screened out.  i n the context  o f models  potential explanations  a s t o why  degree of d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y out extraneous s t i m u l i . on  effort  i sselective,  stimulus to  i n consciousness, with unattended  limited  and  is  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c i s discussed  people of)  what  mental  1986, p . 3 6 ) .  be c l e a r t h a t  most d e f i n i t i o n s of a t t e n t i o n that  of  i t i s a focus  of  sense  focusing  or t h e ( l a c k  This w i l l  be a  those models o f a t t e n t i o n  that  mechanism o f s t i m u l u s  selectivity  and t h a t  seem t o  on t h e p r o b l e m o f d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y .  earlier  models o f a t t e n t i o n  include  (1958), Treisman's a t t e n u a t i o n  Deutsch's Late  S e l e c t i o n Theory  theory  Broadbent's  filter  (1964) and D e u t s c h  (1963) o f a t t e n t i o n .  These  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 3  theories  propose  bottleneck  exists  Messages  occurs  or is  theories.  location,  characterized irrelevant described  i n the  induce  filter as  stimuli, as  characteristics  like  a  filter  information  filtered  out  feature  filter's  a  of  an  a  models  are  associated  not  the  selection  effectiveness,  regardless  in d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y .  distractible  do  in  different  inefficient  these  a  these  non-distractible  while  or  processing.  somewhere  person  p r o f i c i e n t i n s e l e c t i n g and  having  Unfortunately  in  differences  of  being  device  p r o c e s s . Where t h i s s t i m u l u s  distinguishing  can  the  point  channels are  cognitive one  selective  some  Differences  example,  a  at  in rejected  perceptual  of  that  or  might  screening  individual indifferent  specify  with e f f i c i e n t  For be out  can  be  filter.  what  individual  versus  inefficient  filters. Other  attentional  what d i s t i n g u i s h e s person  are  Rather  than  between a  viewed  as  recognize are have  filters  set  of  stimuli.  finite  perceptual for  a  task.  individual  are  or  person  analyzers,  or  of  limits our  Variations differences  "resource"  Kahneman  or  are  based.  competition  (1973) p r o p o s e d  i n which a t t e n t i o n categorize  "cognitive  limits  may  in d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y .  and  only  to a p p l y to be An  is  resources",  imposed b e c a u s e we  mental r e s o u r c e s  i n these  into  non-distractible  processes that  These p r o c e s s e s ,  insight  i n t e r m s of  model o f a t t e n t i o n  Attentional  provide  from a  defined  cognitive  amount  may  "capacity"  attention  processing  limited. a  that  having  parallel  which  a distractible  those  separate  models  any  responsible example  of  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in Distractibility 4  such  a  limitation  "the  cognitive  allocated is  infer  greater  system  i n Kahneman's  and from  control  under  our c o n t r o l "  this  that  of  non-distractible  existing  processing  or o t h e r i n t e l l i g e n c e  excitation inputs.  approach of  to,  p.42).  We  resources, are associated  with a  resource  buffer, related  capacity  increased  might  speed  or c o g n i t i v e  employed  a  within  Snyder  1982;  1980; beam  this  theories  analogy  light  that  passively  decay 1963;  the  Eriksen  internal  argue  1985).  of  efficiency  1977;  1980)  offering  irrelevant  Eriksen  &  are  Schultz, 1980;  input  1979;  of  stimuli  inhibitory  based  n e e d s t o be s u p p r e s s e d 1985).  ignored  i n unused  In o t h e r  objects  might  channels (Deutsch &  Heuden, 1981;  Allport,  no  mechanisms  specific  &  is directed  Processing  Tipper,  of  P o s n e r , Snyder  attention  In c o n t r a s t ,  representations  Der  of  A c c o r d i n g t o t h e commonly  irrelevant  levels  of  Treisman & Gelade,  i n space.  & Schultz,  i s i n terms  that a l l stimuli  ( B r o a d b e n t , 1982;  moving  to r e s t i n g Van  Inhibition  & D a v i d s o n , 1980;  beam i s f a c i l i t a t e d .  1977;  While  theories  Treisman & Gelade,  theories,  Deutsch,  and  extent ( N e i l l ,  Tipper,  of  argue  (Neill,  inputs of  some  spotlight  Davidson,  t o the s t u d y of a t t e n t i o n  group to  Posner,  Broadbent,  1985).  process  and/or  memory  relevant  This  attended  like  allocation  factors.  Another  1979;  a  resources are  (Kahneman, 1973  Such  itself  that  resource capacity  individual. as  This  a greater  manifest  related  (1973) argument  f e a t u r e s a stage i n which  to process incoming s t i m u l i .  flexible  can  appears  Tipper a l l  & Chimel, of t h e s e  Predicting  Individual Differences  in Distractibility 5  theories  suggest  deficient  in  inhibiting function  facilitating  an  or  resolved  a  exists  for  may  inhibiting  be  n o t be  are i n d i v i d u a l  indirectly  measured  by  the  their  possibility  distractibility. how  one  (1984)  individuals.  t o recognize  their  & Hemsley  i n i n h i b i t o r y mechanisms i n i n f o r m a t i o n  in distractible  of  to  an  i s open t o d e b a t e and w i l l  which  a deficit  terms  as  process,  of i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s , B u l l e n  i s important  provide  focusing  isa  F o r example, by p l a c i n g t h e i n h i b i t o r y models i n  that  processing  i n p u t s or  Whether d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y  process  variables  context  It  input.  of relevant  however e x c i t a t i o n and i n h i b i t i o n  performance.  suggested  i n d i v i d u a l i s one who i s  the processing  excitatory decay  here,  difference  the  a distractible  irrelevant of  process  that  ability  that  that  t o focus  individuals will a t t e n t i o n , hence  Unfortunately  might  t h e s e d i f f e r e n t models do  discriminate  differ in  i n terms o f  they a r e not very  specific  between a d i s t r a c t i b l e and  non-distractible individual. Much be  is  theorized  useful  in  our  individual  to  process  irrelevant  context  activity: which  1)  matches  about a t t e n t i o n  present  we  problem.  some may  stimuli view  i n general, F o r example in  this  the  i f we a s k an  presence  task  target.  predictions  about  dual  modality  of  presentation.  complex;  for  instance,  Several  task  theories  performance  The m o d a l i t y  some t h e o r i e s  o f an  as a dual  I g n o r e t h e d i s t r a c t o r s and 2) S e l e c t the  which might  task  the response make  depending  specific on  the  interactions are often  suggest  that  performance  Predicting  Individual Differences  in  Distractibility 6  interference same  can  modality  tasks  are  Eriksen,  and  the  important  differs  cognitive  processing  regardless resource.  single  of  According  tasks are  faci1itation  to  presented  can  occur  modalities  i n the  i f the  (Wickens,  the  in  two 1984;  single  if  then  non-distractible  will  this  between  In e f f e c t ,  same e f f e c t ,  we  are  saying  instance, a d i s t r a c t i b l e  by  visual  distractibility difference  be  variable,  viewed perhaps  and  upon t h e  be  If t h i s  highly  any  modality  and  the  that  t h a t when d o i n g  fairly  1973).  expect  in  task  size  is and  of  an  distracting  r e g a r d l e s s of t h e i r  a  has  distractible  This suggests  as  task  intra  distractor  will  same  differences  o n l y on  of  a l l stimuli,  would not  between  individual  pool  (Kahneman,  inter  of the  resource  of the  individual  auditory distractors. may  modality  would depend  resource.  for  and  to  modality  individuals  have t h e  draw  tasks  distinguishing  single  hence  c a p a c i t y v i e w we  logic  the  two  stimulus  i s o n l y one  must  t h a t the  performance  distractibility,  individual's  modality,  focal  multiple  available,  of  and  versus  models, t h e r e  capacity or  distractor  single  resource  performance  Extending  unimportant  of the  would s u g g e s t  on  difference  input.  two  separate  for  source  This  impact  stimuli  in  modality  In  tasks.  the  1985).  models.  no  if  performance  presented  Whether are  occur  source  a visual  of  task,  equally effected i s the  general  case,  then  individual  correlated  across  situations. In  contrast,  the  multiple resource  perspective  (Norman &  Predicting  Individual Differences in  Distractibility 7  Bobrow, of  1975;  Wickens,  differentiated  resources;  distractibility. specific, The test  which  task.  are where  i n favor  i s p r e d i c t e d t o be  expects greater of  occurs  resources  the  and  deplete  resource  reasoning  the  resource.  t h e same m o d a l i t y because  the  as t h e  task  f r o m t h e same p o o l . are  pools.  and In a  in different  When we a p p l y  this  to differences i n d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y ,  possibility  that  distractibility  capacity  b u t a l a r g e a u d i t o r y p r o c e s s i n g c a p a c i t y m i g h t be v e r y  irrelevant its  auditory  name  attentional  guidance  of  inputs  stimuli.  suggests,  manifestation  Since  visual  would  but  with  show  a limited  be  specific.  by  an i n d i v i d u a l  might  modality  distracted  Thus  modality  interference in a  distractors  separate  pools  degrees of  behaves a s a s e p a r a t e  distractors  task  of m u l t i p l e  perhaps d i f f e r e n t  consuming  they  suggests  view  interference  modalities, multiple  modality  resource  This  situation  it  each  contains  distractors  with  Here p e r f o r m a n c e  where  multiple  1984) a r g u e s  little  effect  The m u l t i p l e r e s o u r c e  in  any  one  or  for  t h e o r y as  argue t h a t d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y  limitations  visual  c a n be a  a l l of  the  resources. the a t t e n t i o n a l  models t h e m s e l v e s do n o t p r o v i d e  a s t o why some i n d i v i d u a l s a r e d i s t r a c t i b l e  much  and o t h e r s  are  n o t , p e r h a p s some v a r i a b l e s which a r e presumed t o be r e l a t e d  to  attention  theory of  be  more  useful.  i n c o r p o r a t e s a r o u s a l and e f f o r t  attention  domains.  will  and  we  F o r i n s t a n c e , Kahneman's into  know t h a t i n d i v i d u a l s  the resource do d i f f e r  theory  i n these  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 8  The  rationale  behind  clusters  of  related  to a t t e n t i o n a l  predictors set  of  of  since  empirical  clarity,  tests  predict  will  of  which  which are  be  bases. of  In  the  In of  variables not.  will  essence,  of  valid  look  at  seem t o  be  prima-facie,  justified  might  in a  be  Each  separate  upon d i f f e r e n t t h e o r e t i c a l for purposes  of  t h e s e s e p a r a t e measures  to  be  then,  treated  these measures  experiments which u l t i m a t e l y are  to  in d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y .  exposition  ability  be  consideration  and  i s based  this  will  which,  introduced  distractibility  set  general  f a c t o r s and  each c l u s t e r  subexperiments. interleaved  w h i c h , on  thesis  individual differences  variables  chapter, and  variables  this  predictors  of  as  separate  constitute will  inform  distractibility  an us and  Predicting  Individual Differences  in  Distractibility 9  Chapter  The A  fundamental  distractibility, its  effect  variables a  task  reasonable  number  choice It  &  of  Jones  be  whether  situations.  Is  Distraction  theoretically question  distractors  the  "Does covary  generalizability  across  for  select  which  distracted  a  with  a  Broadbent,  there  i s a wide  distractibility.  t h a t has  distractibility  created  generalizes  a  across  Generalizable?  primary  to which  focus  will  distraction  to  an  t a s k s and  of t h i s  there  Here, we  within  to t e s t  under  that  that  through  must f i r s t  be  options  cross modality  important.  we  used t o measure  i n t r o d u c t o r y chapter, versus  begin  performance.  i s s u e of the e x t e n t  g e n e r a l i z a b l e i s not  specific  will  is  i t s presence  conditions  of task  and  thesis  can  demonstrated  tasks  modality  the  (1986)  the  of  task  to  i n the  be  of  which can  mentioned  we  individuals  as  Although is  set  very m u l t i p l i c i t y  controversy different  a  of  tasks  is this  reveals  Before  deterioration  Broadbent  this  predict d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y  determine  consequent  Task  of  attention,  behavior.  t h a t may and  Distraction  assumption  like  on  2  distractibility t h e s i s , as  i s some i n t e r e s t  i n t e r a c t i o n s which o n l y attempt auditory  individual?". situations  in may  t o answer  and As  was  visual far  as  i s concerned,  the  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 10  stance  taken  (1982) and  in  Hunt  for  assumption  and  across  to  a  to  deficit  variety 1983).  disorders  breakdown  to  irrelevant stimuli.  s c r e e n out  this of in  task  processes.  that  attention  may  necessarily variations choice  of  these  subject  many exist  reaction  stimulus  design  best  to  on  seem et  there  to  made t o a  known search.  in On  the  to  some t r i a l s  1979;  abilities here  as  do a  inability  data that  opposes  generalizabi1ity differences  different  attentional  of  of  in  the  et  that  location t h e r e was  i t was  one  al  was  of  are  not  made use  of  t a s k where a an of  no  t h i s area quality  on  attention  letter  so  i n response  the  research  focused  spatial  advance  deficit  how  Broadbent  has  tests,  due  i n d i v i d u a l s best  others.  be  and  is l i t t l e  measures  that  clinical  hyperactivity  viewed  consider  (1986)  classic  to  be  demand  different  similar  in  related  a demonstration  al's  and  us  Eriksen's  filter was  that  A  which  (Douglas & Peters,  can  let  Consider  Broadbent  indicates  In  suggesting  distractibility. the  settings  in focal attention  further,  generalized  where e a c h a t t e n t i o n  distractibility  going  p r e m i s e by  exists  C e r t a i n l y most a t t e n t i o n  non-specific  Sternberg  situations  disabilities,  stimuli  and  of  in intelligence.  learning  different  that  and  attention  generalize,  Before  tasks  i n d i f f e r e n t t a s k s and of  to  i s some d e g r e e o f  different  pertaining  itself  Douglas,  there  generalized  attention  manifests  is similar  individual differences of  literature  thesis  (1980), t h a t  distractibility accounts  this  A or the  need  accompanied  a  B.  target for  by  the  other  Predicting  Individual Differences  in  Distractibility 11  distracting ignore  stimuli,  these.  information  a l s o an  A or a B,  S p a t i a l p o s i t i o n was  and  to r e j e c t  irrelevant  Broadbent e t a l a l s o used the obtain  a  target  measure stimulus  was  not were  conditions  the  was  the a  the  task  digit.  In  was  this  Broadbent  e t a l found  resist  be  or  find  to  subjects  across  attentional  o f the  series little  justify  In  this  known  and  the  variables that  select  filter  evidence  condition  pointing  can  be  the  search  unknown l o c a t i o n  identify  it.  Here  category  and  experiments,  search  f o r any  by  to  consequently  general  ability  Broadbent et a l  i n c o n s i s t e n t p e r f o r m a n c e of  tasks  to  distractor  to d i s t r a c t i o n .  the  to  used. Given these  t a r g e t to  and  of  cue  r e a c t i o n tasks  a t a r g e t a t an  a letter  vulnerable  attempted  tests  to  "categoric nature"  target category  same c h o i c e  location  distractors  the  were t o l d  stimuli.  efficiency.  (digit)  subjects  used a s  of s e a r c h  non-letter  using  but  out  the  manipulated  was  to  (1986)  individual  multitude  w i t h i n and  of  between  of a t t e n t i o n . "If person  we  which  the  than o u t s i d e spot  task  spotlight  at  the  i n the  size  the  spot  amount of  light  of  the  spot,  the  could cast  on  extent  there  and  be  comparable to outside of t h e  differences  contrast  motion  than  factors. in  the  inside rather  t o w h i c h the rather  the  world,  spot,  moved, the  objects  a v a r i e t y of other  could  as  be  i s c o n t r o l l e d from i n t e r n a l  information, task,  a  filtering  people might d i f f e r  with  between  the  of a  directing  different speed  think  the  of  external  In a  search  effect  of  Predicting  Individual Differences in  Distractibility 12  increasing  the  distractors  belonging  the  spatial  target category  and  so  on.  It  area  t o an  attention',  or  irrelevant  of t h e  category,  number  familiar  is  whether  not  obvious  a priori  to a s i n g l e  whether  dimension  they a l l vary  of  of whether  i s a w e l l - e s t a b l i s h e d and  measures a r e a l l r e l a t e d of  of s e a r c h ,  of  one, these  'goodness  independently."  (p.287) This one  to  quote a l o n g conclude  t h a t he  generalize  across  may  been  have  factors  Broadbent  et  results,  and  standard sample  the  differences account two to  task in  f o r the  resolve this of  this  that  be  a  sample s i z e , power  et a l neglected  size  h a r d l y seems c a p a b l e  of c o r r e l a t e d  of d i s t r a c t i o n potential first by  The  section  of  a paper and  inadequate the  will  thesis  pencil  provide  the  twenty f o r each individual  search.  might on  the  In  order  power, one  major  is  to  assess  performance t e s t  individuals. an  the  of a l a r g e  sample s i z e s  and  which  of  performance r e s u l t s  t o a l a r g e group of  procedure  small  for  to s a t i s f y  of d e t e c t i n g  tasks: f i l t e r  p r o b l e m of  of  not  two  which might account  statistical  sample  does  However  d i f f e r e n c e research requirement average  lead  distractibility  abilities.  findings:  and  Broadbent  absence  administered such  specific  distractibility.  distractibility can  different  sensitivity  His  main t y p e s  goal  task  individual  experimental  t h a t h i s measures of  have been o v e r l o o k e d  validity.  size.  believes that d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y  t a s k s or  al's  affect  B r o a d b e n t e t a l ' s r e s u l t s might  assessing  important  will  with  which  I t i s hoped  adequate  test  of  Predicting  Individual  Differences  In D i s t r a c t i b i l i t y 13  individual (Glass  & Hopkins,  The  accepted  noted  the  to  in  confronted  with  performance  of  relatively  validity  select  a  task  is  Irrelevant  to  1975;  distrator  distractors,  of  found  i n discussions  distractors,  Witkin, the  ability  1962). greater or  s i m i l a r i t y i s present "By  relationship  now  The the  confusion  task-distractor  findings:  i s expected  individual  transcends considerations  t o be  inability to  more s i m i l a r  rather  f o r the  in Schiffrin's  hundreds  of  we  such as  (Witkin &  t h e t a s k and  for  than  when  Recall,  dependence  opportunity  the  Hence,  i t i s preferable  confusabi1ity  between s p e e d  between t a r g e t s  task  while  of d i s t r a c t o r s .  of f i e l d  for  d i s t r a c t i b l e when  c l e a r l y d i s t i n c t from t h e t a s k .  physical  difference  highly  presence by  Evidence  This d e f i n i t i o n suggests that  for  positive  are  As  d e f i n e d as  deterioration  individuals  the  Evidence  these  consider the  i n d i s t r a c t i o n , not disembedding a b i l i t y ,  are,  disembedding  we  i s generally  the  who  stimuli.  distractors  Berry,  in  characterized  be  when  stimuli.  containing  by  appropriate  usually  relevant  individuals  selecting  that  power  d e f i n i t i o n of d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y .  found  unaffected  interested  arises  non-distractible  distractibility  are  i n terms o f s t a t i s t i c a l  1, d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y  is  performance  least  operational  distractibility  ignore  of  i n Chapter  inability  at  1984).  question  usually was  differences  measuring  distraction.  b e i n g d e p e n d e n t on (1988) summary o f  studies  testify  to the  o f s e a r c h and t h e s i m i l a r i t y  and d i s t r a c t o r s  and t h i s  of type of t r a i n i n g  relationship  and o t h e r  factors"  Predicting  Individual Differences  in  Distractibility 14  (p.749). press) to  Q u i n l a n and found  that  distractors  other  (cited  search  as  as  in Schiffrin,  of  findings.  in  filter  by  of d i g i t s  evoked,  for  identification  study,  the  important use This  consideration  will  us  targets  parameters.  the  in  which  permit  letters  in  targets each  are  letters  operations  fact,  the  clearly distinct a  more  i n Broadbent et a l ' s  r e s u l t s appeared.  obtain  may  identification  Therefore,  s e l e c t i n g a d i s t r a c t i o n task  are to  In  target  pattern  as d i s t r a c t o r s  involving different cognitive  more h a p h a z a r d  distractors  of  e t a l ' s complex  c a t e g o r i z a t i o n or  d i s t r a c t o r s were t o t h e  the  (1985,  of d i s t r a c t o r s to  and  where t h e  level  p r o c e s s e s t o be  similar  Broadbent  tasks  d i f f e r e n t higher  different  dissimilarity  similarity  explain  search  Duncan  1988).  Thus h i s use  and  ( i n p r e s s ) and  i s s p e e d e d by  well  Confounding could  require  Humphreys  from the  an  i s to  targets.  l e s s c o n f o u n d e d measure  of  distractibility. Support  for  distractibility intelligence (1979) is  the as  and  He  mentioned childhood  argues t h a t  attention.  in  attention  dual  task  experiments  earlier, learning  presumes t h a t  i n t e l l i g e n c e across  for  (Keele,  of  in research  on  disabilities. intellectual  function  i n d i v i d u a l s i s p a r a l l e l e d by  differences  s u c h as  although  Neill  well  to  Sternberg  differences  experiments  the  exists  conception  established  abilities this,  of a g e n e r a l i z e d  a major c o n t r i b u t o r  in  support  existence  distractibility.  l i m i t e d , i s found  (Hunt, & De  1980) Lemos,  and 1978).  Experimental  in research  dichotic  using  listening  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in Distractibility 15  Similarly, Deficit the  explain  of  the  time.  Attentional is  sustain  children  manner  (Douglass precise  &  other  situations  and  between  this  selection. assessed, already  tool  Thus  that  is  enough t a s k ,  across the  Learning  disabled  and  used  in  this  thesis  Regardless of the  demonstrate that  i n a manner w h i c h well  as d i s p l a y s  i t is  generalizes consistent  an  i s t o s p e c i f y the d i s t r a c t i o n task  to  task  explain design  appropriate  some  of  e t a l ' s paradigm  f o r measuring  i t  and  the  choosing seen  Broadbent  study  Since  inability  Makings of a D i s t r a c t o r  aim of t h i s s e c t i o n  in  over  t o be d i s t r a c t i b l e i n a  these studies  as  This  generalize  Douglas, 1983).  tasks  attention  in  individuals.  The The  appear  described  1979;  1983).  to  i t appears  hyperactivity  (Sykes, 1973).  hand,  that  Peters,  or  to sustain  appears  t o view d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y  differences  a  also  modalities  to  Disorder  test for  i n a b i l i t y , to  In general  1979; D o u g l a s ,  form of a t t e n t i o n ,  reasonable across  the  impairments.  Attention  frequently  attentional  t o an i n a b i l i t y  attention  on  similar  used  generalized  & Peters,  and a u d i t o r y  on h y p e r a c t i v i t y ,  Disabilities  Deficit  related  (Douglas  visual  some  the causes of these  children  to  research  D i s o r d e r s and L e a r n i n g  existence  that  clinical  the  dictates test  to  what  may have weakened  make  sure  that  for is  is critical.  the problems t h a t  individual differences  important  rationale  its  being  We have  were p r e s e n t i n  i t s u s e f u l n e s s as  in distractibility. we u t i l i z e a s i m p l e  with c l e a r l y i r r e l e v a n t d i s t r a c t o r s , t o assure  that  Predicting  Individual Differences in D i s t r a c t i b i l i t y 16  we  are  measuring  confusion  or h i g h e r  The  are  target  in  (as  isolated  i t  involves  as  in  ability. is  whether  hence e x t r i n s i c  to the be  as when t h e t a r g e t and d i s t r a c t o r s a r e  clear  Figure  that 1A  IB).  Given  extrinsic  our d i s c u s s i o n  distractors  where t h e t a r g e t  isolation  This c o n t r a s t s with  dimensions  Virgi  & Garbart, ).  distractors  (Stroop,  1984, T r e i s m a n ,  Thus we w i l l and c o n c e n t r a t e  extrinsic"  1935;  distractors  avoid  are task  studies  d i s t r a c t o r s and i n t e g r a t e t h e r e l e v a n t  "task  the  1A) or whether t h e t a r g e t must f i r s t  a l . , 1986  called  Taylor,  identifiable,  stimulus  intrinsic"  and n o t d l s e m b e d d i n g ,  consider  identification.  1975; E g e t h , et  to  (as i n F i g u r e  be  intrinsic  Broadbent  been  related  irrelevant  "task  dimension  Figure  simple  use  Berry,  cognitive sorting  clearly  should  preferable,  the  level  and d i s e m b e d d e d  intrinsically  that  distractibility  relevant  distractors  above,  only  with  Witkin &  1982, 1986;  t h e so c a l l e d  on t h o s e  t h a t have  (Davies,  Jones  &  1984). Insert  By  using  an  extrinsic  Figure type  problem  of i n a d v e r t e n t l y measuring  sorting  ability  same  time  order  to avoid  mentioned  other  we r u n t h e r i s k  distractors distractors  or  this  of d i s t r a c t o r , field  of using  are  noticeable Chapter  1.  Messages  At the  d i s t r a c t o r s . In  we d e l i b e r a t e l y s e l e c t e d to  c a n be found  confusion,  dimensions.  ineffective  difficult  we r e s o l v e t h e  dependency,  cognitive s k i l l  s e c o n d a r y problem,  which  in  1  ignore.  What  makes  i n t h e models o f a t t e n t i o n  i n the r e j e c t e d channels are  Figure 1R Task Extrinsic D i s t r a c t o r s Target  Locate the t a r g e t in the following a r r a y :  0 Fiqure IB Task Intrinsic D i s t r a c t o r s Target:  Locate the t a r g e t in the following array:  //  ft  // / ///  Figure (la) R d i s t r a c t o r in which the t a r is distinct from the d i s t r a c t o r items. Figure (lb) Rn embedded figures t e s t in which the target is found in the more complex array. The complex array a c t s as an inteqrated d i s t r a c t o r and task. (From Coren, Porac and Ward, 1984)  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 17  filtered  out  suggests low  a t an  that  level  e a r l y stage  the  initial  low  these  stimulus  switching  in  divided  presumably  they  perceptual  level  One  physical  factor  attention also  be  on  can  tasks  which  physical  and  characteristic is  is novelty  characteristics  would  process,  s e l e c t i o n i s based  characteristics.  sudden o n s e t , w h i l e a Because  i n the  or  expectancy.  trigger  channel  (Broadbent,  characteristics  1955),  of e f f e c t i v e  distractors. In notion have  his of  to  other  work  unusual  suggestions  of  D.O.  properties  noises,  events.  Hebb  individual.  information  information  time  to  of  low  being  likely that  events  that  selected  sounds as  these d i f f e r e n t t h e o r i s t s orientations) (eg.  do  agree  unexpected, novel,  subexperiment  by  loud  certain  state  of  the  increase  the  physical  frequency  as  to v i s u a l  external  attention.  and  provide  include:  Hebb d i s c u s s  t o c a p t u r e our  theoretical  first  the  opposed  a s a l i e n t stimulus This  i s increased with  we  probability  f r e q u e n c y sound and  most  of  the  high  that  different  dispositions  i n t e r v a l between s t i m u l a t i o n ;  Hence, b o t h Kahneman and  recognize  along  external  stimuli.  to  colors  optimal d i s t r a c t o r s (e.g.  being selected  the  tendencies that  (1955) s i m i l a r l y a r g u e s t h a t  this  of  enduring  what would be  Properties  probability  are  (1973) p o s t u l a t e d  sudden m o t i o n s , b r i g h t  These  information of  intensity;  loud  about  specific  opposed  a t t e n t i o n , Kahneman  "enduring d i s p o s i t i o n s " which are process  noise).  on  It.is  stimuli important  (even w i t h t h e i r on  the  properties  intense).  t e s t s whether d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y  can  Predicting  Individual Differences i n D i s t r a c t i b i l i t y 18  be  assessed  test.  We  behaviorally  must  individuals not has  been  demonstrate  are  distracted  we have a t a s k  in  which  which  there  is  we  can  then  may,  distraction  i n w h i c h some  to a large degree, while  p r e d i c t o r s which can separate  v a r i o u s models  paper and p e n c i l  o r a f f e c t e d t o a much l e s s e r  variability  individuals  a  that  distracted  derived  individual  via  shed  Once a t a s k  a sufficient seek  distractible  later,  extent.  others are  degree of  correlates  and  from n o n - d i s t r a c t i b l e  light  of a t t e n t i o n i n e x p l a i n i n g  on t h e v a l i d i t y o f  distractibility.  Method  The The under  distraction  test  Test  (Appendix  A)  c o n d i t i o n s o f a u d i t o r y and v i s u a l  Specifically, contains items  Distraction  the  distractors  of the s e a r c h  set  of  the  left  test  letters  of  and c r o s s  set  is  a sample  unpredictably  page,  out t h i s  of these  basic search  find  search  around  task  that  the target  i s t o scan  task  the  target  same s e t o f i t e m s  on t h e r i g h t  across a  i t e m which i s  i n the response  s i d e o f t h e page. F i g u r e 2  items.  Insert The  speeded v i s u a l  numbers w h i c h a r e i n g r o u p s o f t h r e e on  the  located  performance  distractor stimulation.  t a s k . The s u b j e c t ' s t a s k  underlined  contains  a  placed  and/or  side  which  is  assesses  Figure  2  i s a variation  of a t e s t  t h a t appears  Figure 2 auu UuA  auu AUU aau UuA  D8R R80  R8D D8R  POC PCO  POC OCP PCC OPC  PBD PDB  DPB BPD PBD DBP  SYX SXY  XYS SXY SYX XYX  PVC PCV  VCP CPV PVC VPC  Figure (2) Sample items from the distraction t e s t without d i s t r a c t o r s present.  8DR RD8  Predicting  Individual Differences in  Distractibility 19  in  the  Differential  1982).  The  clerical  skills.  difficult targets was  original  that  order  This  was  version  used  here  designed  three, rather  i n the  original.  search  mathematical,  and  is  t o measure  slightly  than The  & Wesman,  the  two  more  letter  distraction  test  o n l y minimal c o g n i t i v e  task  relevant stimuli  Seashore  measured  not  verbal  their or  individuals' competency f o r  some o t h e r  higher  skill.  auditory  which  will  one be  Auditory  timed  stimuli  modality.  distractors,  and  placed  contains  a  with  subject  visual  and  in either  had  one  one  with  a  sections.  duration the  of  task  visual  distractors  of  c o m p r i s e an  items.  extrinsic  include  distractors  task  In t h e  were  visual  meaningful  t a r g e t items.  Figure  T h e s e d i s t r a c t o r s and  type  of  test.  was  3  the  Examples of  the  p i c t u r e s of a s k e l e t o n , a s k i e r ,  a  s e c t i o n , while  the  visual  search  task  meaningful auditory d i s t r a c t o r s ,  ranging  f r o m 75  were  were  presented  periods  of  In t h e  without  Control, Visual  minutes.  the  or  auditory distraction  subjects  boat.  these  the  distractors  u n p r e d i c t a b l y around  sample  section  Each s e c t i o n of the three  visual  the v i s u a l  auditory  r e f e r r e d t o r e s p e c t i v e l y as  search  a  Each  section  pictures  and  were p r e s e n t e d  Distraction had  distraction  dog  test  simple  memory,  Irrelevant  and  (Bennett,  t o r e q u i r e c o n c e n t r a t i o n but  to s e l e c t  prolonged  Test  aptitude  i t contains  were f o u n d  engagement. ability  The  because  designed  Aptitude  performing  at v a r i a b l e , unexpected  silence  averaged  three  eighteen  t o 95 d e c i b e l s ,  intervals.  Interspersed  s e c o n d s . Examples of  these  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in Distractibility 20  distractors  include  sounds of a screaming s i r e n ,  a dog b a r k i n g and a u d i e n c e  was  which  noted  no  on  Figure  were  the  no  sections  The section  provided  condition  in  comparison  of  compared  with  a measure o f t h e  of the d i s t r a c t o r s .  In  addition  there  was  three  sections  included  to  the  task are  in  context  and  test  the  auditory  being a c t i v e l y  group d e s c r i b e d group r e c e i v e d  fatigue,  or p r a c t i c e  not  considered  I t was  effects.  and t h e i r r e l e v a n t to  of t h i s study,  stimuli  above,  t h e same  w i t h no d i s t r a c t o r s .  i s a search task  numbers  Distractors, pictorial  g r o u p . The c o n t r o l  f o r any o r d e r ,  that  and  experimental  of the search  to test  letters  the  a control  Notice  stimuli  a control  present.  distractor  p e r f o r m a n c e on t h e d i s t r a c t o r effects  3  above t h e r e was a l s o  distractors  performance  baby,  noise.  Insert As  a crying  irrelevant  be  distractors.  refer to  only to the  t h e domain o f  categorized. Subjects  Three University 272 group test  of  subjects  which  visual  reversed.  and  British  eight  of  appears of and  73  undergraduate  subjects  Columbia served as s u b j e c t s .  participated  consisted  consisting the  hundred  199  i n two e x p e r i m e n t a l  subjects auditory  A second  who r e c e i v e d distraction  Of t h e s e ,  g r o u p s . The  s u b j e c t s who r e c e i v e d  i n A p p e n d i x A.  a t the  the d i s t r a c t i o n  experimental  t h e same t e s t sections  first  of  group  but with the  test  20a  CTi . - s i i r - . . — .  O  nvx xvn vxn nxv xnv  nvx nxv _3S„xnv vxn xvn  bid dlb ldb lbd bdl  dlbl  aru aur ura rau rua  ura aru^^Sr aur rua rau  vwu  wvu  uwm  wum  i  uvw vwv vuw  ....  Ldb  bid bdl lbd  vuw wvu uwv vwu  uvw  0wu  umw  wmu umw vum^j^mwu uwm  679 769 967 697  976  697 967 769 679 976  wmu  Figure (3) Sample items from the distraction t e s t with d i s t r a c t o r s present.  Predicting  Individual Differences in D i s t r a c t i b i l i t y 21  The  size  of  these  groups should  for  meaningful c o r r e l a t i o n a l  and  should A  test  have a d e q u a t e  smaller for  this  but  no  merely This  group.  Only  three  smaller  individual  allow  power.  c o n t r o l c o n d i t i o n o f 36 s u b j e c t s was  task.  because  l a r g e enough t o  a n a l y s i s of i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s ,  f a t i g u e or p r a c t i c e e f f e c t s .  distractors, search  be  T h i s group, r e c e i v e d  successive group  included to  presentations  size  of the  i s p e r m i s s i b l e here  d i f f e r e n c e a n a l y s i s i s t o be p e r f o r m e d the group  no  performance, w i l l  be a s s e s s e d  on in  this condition.  Results  Group The  basic  distraction a  number  task of  not  as  in  individual  of idea  that  Individuals  The  Table  1  variability  individual scores  be  us w i t h who  answered  here,  are d i s t r a c t e d  to their  in the  wide  the  i n performance  distractors  distractor  are  relatively  o f t h e number c o r r e c t  existence  of  but not o t h e r s ,  hence  sufficient  on t h e d i s t r a c t i o n  conditions are  containing  no  d i f f e r e n c e a n a l y s i s m e a n i n g f u l . The the d i s t r a c t o r  the  (show p e r f o r m a n c e  performance with  distribution  illustrates  i s whether  a range o f s c o r e s ,  w e l l as a number o f i n d i v i d u a l s who  distracted.  scores  make  provides  relative  Performance  to  individuals  deterioration stimuli)  question  & Discussion  task  wider  range  i s c o n s i s t e n t with  having spreading  an  effect  the s c o r e s  to  the  upon some out.  Predicting  Individual Differences in  Distractibility 22  Insert In o r d e r we  will  to assess  focus  decrease  on  accuracy  distractors.  T h i s was  mean  of  condition p<.001)  to  p<.001).  This  distractor of  used.  The  compute  combined  of the  the  number  number  tasks,  as  .78  decrement;  and  the  number  t h a t the  of  task  e r r o r s i n the  Instead,  s m a l l v a l u e s and  the  two  i s a u s e f u l measure  e r r o r s c o r e s were n o t  scores  the  no  used  potential  in deriving  operational definition  from Table used  distractor  distractor  for  the  and  hence  f o r the  scores  Table  distractibility  on  Specifically,  Auditory  these  search  As  Note  measures  we  task  Distraction  that  had  on  this  i s a performance represent  1 c o n t a i n s t h e m e a s u r e s of v i s u a l scores.  the  of t h e d i s t r a c t o r  i f there  to  remainder  c o n d i t i o n minus  distractibility. value  are  1 were used  c o n d i t i o n s of t h e  Visual  produces a p o s i t i v e  distractibility.  control  i n terms of p e r f o r m a n c e d e c r e m e n t ,  in  high  i n the  c o n d i t i o n (t=-4.83  correct  i n the  hence  i n the  to  Auditory Distractor  were used as measures of the. e f f e c t  computation  auditory  of  increase  the measures of d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y .  separately  performance,  significant  s u b j e c t s were e x p o s e d  change s c o r e s w h i c h a r e  correct  correct  computed  namely  A  c o n d i t i o n (t=-5.69  in  these  performance  accuracy.  mean  B e c a u s e of t h e i r  number  study  a  on  Distractor  of d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y .  distraction,  when  Visual  c o n d i t i o n suggests  unreliability,  scores of  increase  of d i s t r a c t o r s  in a s i g n i f i c a n t  from  i n the  distractibility.  for  depicted  i n the  1.21  1  i n s p e e d and  occurred  errors  1.34  and  impact  changes  in  number  the  Table  hoped  high and  in designing  22a  Table Group P e r f o r m a n c e  1 on D i s t r a c t i o n  Task  (n=272) minimum score  bottom l/4ile  md 1/2  t o p maximum l / 4 i l e score  range max-min  Distractor: None (Control) # Correct  44  56  61  67  82  38  # Correct  34  50  57  63  86  52  Auditory # Correct  35  55  62  69  92  57  Visual Distractibility  -10  1  Auditory Distractibility  -18  -5  Visual  Visual  Distractibility  Auditory  Distractibility  5  7  16  26  -1  2  14  32  = Control  # Correct  = Control  - Visual  # Correct  # Correct  - Auditory  # Correct  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 23  this  task,  many  there  is a  individuals  performance  range of d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y  showing  decrement,  unaffected. special  large  The  marked  while  others  distributions  statistical  distraction,  are  correction  shown, w i t h  in  terms  of  appear  t o be  fairly  n o r m a l , hence  should  be  relatively  required  in  no  further  analysis. Earlier generalized positive  we  mentioned the  ability  a  can  reasonable  resources.  conclude  also  f o r the  who  are  present  cause  order  Practice  potential  distractor) three  be  of  the  The  sections  .97,  the  were number  distraction  and  and/or  d i s t r a c t e d by  visual  d i s t r a c t o r s , at  Order E f f e c t  behavior  noted  confounds  at  the  i n Table  of  fatigue  with  respect  results  The  of  corresponding 1.39  and  number o f  1.53.  =  1 we and  need  the  60.1, errors  2.16  present  control  61.7  for and  f o r the  There  (no the 61.8  three  differences  between a l l s e c t i o n s n.s).  to  practice.  to the  Non-significant  occurred  (F(2,35)  underlying  mean number c o r r e c t  d i s t r a c t i o n t e s t was  correct  task  to  modalities  d i s t r a c t i o n i s the  dismissed  look  respectively.  in  of  experimental group.  sections  d o e s seem  task.  the  we  across  auditory  eliminate  when  a  distractibility  distractibility  by  pattern  findings,  visual  distracted  the  can  as  highly significant  be  to demonstrate that  effects  a  to  of  These  that  and  distractibility  tend  Fatigue. In  of  Based on  generalizability  Individuals  distractors least  inability.  c o r r e l a t i o n between a u d i t o r y  (r=.48 p<.001) we have  or  question  also  of  the were  Predicting  Individual Differences  in  Distractibility 24  non-significant sections  of  d i f f e r e n c e s between t h e number o f e r r o r s on a l l  the d i s t r a c t i o n  non-significant number  of  group's  there  errors  only  minutes Recall  visual the  the  order  remainder order.  group  variance  in  of  task  study  is  or  the fact  that  and e a c h was  only  g r o u p s were t e s t e d  both  b u t one g r o u p  with  the a u d i t o r y d i s t r a c t i o n  task  conditions,  with  two  the r e l a t i v e  The  experimental  =  while  = us  which  individual the  5.2)  of each  difference on  the  in  Visual  g r o u p = 4.4 and S.D.  5.2) and t h e A u d i t o r y  supports  each  i t e l i m i n a t e s any  orders  group  within  rank order  nonsignificant  Visual/Auditory  group  effects  t h e measures o f d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y f o r  preserves  group  allowing  with  under  (S.D. o f V i s u a l / A u d i t o r y  of  differences  preserving  fatigue  c o n t r o l f o r any p o t e n t i a l o r d e r  orders,  the  Auditory/Visual  mean  given  administered  terms of d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y  for  (S.D.  procedure,  a  o f t h e t h e s i s have been s t a n d a r d i z e d  Auditory/Visual  task  other  differences.  Distraction  of the c o n t r o l  of  understandable  sections  to  This  mean  sections  possibility  the experimental  and  In  individual  The  i n duration.  between t h e two t e s t  test  three  auditory distraction  visual  the  the the  is  three  that  and  first.  which  ( F ( 2 , 3 5 ) = 1.79 n . s . ) .  on b o t h t h e number c o r r e c t and t h e  across  eliminates  effect  were  three  differences  test,  practice  task  =  5.4  the  Distraction  and  validity  S.D.  of  of t h i s  t o combine t h e two g r o u p s ,  eliminating  are  t h e s i s , and  not the focus  differences.  of t h i s  Since  the concern of t h i s  individual differences  in distractibility,  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 25  only the r e l a t i v e the  standardized In  distractibility  summary,  conditions produce was  scores are important  both  compared  an  to  effective  demonstrated  individuals' distraction  the  the  scores  in  conditions Also  between  two  the  terms  distractibility  above  of the d i s t r a c t i o n  useful  as  a  individual whether conditions following  criterion  can  pred i c t  of d i s t r a c t i o n . chapters.  at  were f o u n d t o scores.  their to  performance  scores  least task  under  conditions  and p o s i t i v e  of  demonstrates  suggests that  individual's  This question  forms  no  correlation  across modalities.  L e t us now t u r n an  This among  that The  i t may be  measure t o a s s e s s d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y  characteristic. we  of  distraction  of l a r g e v a r i a b i l i t y  significant  generalizes,  analysis  condition  compared  distractibility  auditory  of d i s t r a c t i o n  existence  as  the  and  control  distribution  by  distraction.  scores.  visual  the  and t h e s e a r e c a p t u r e d i n  as an  t o the question of performance the focus  under f o r the  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in Distractibility 26  Chapter  3  Subjective Report of D i s t r a c t i b i l i t y : A Predictor Since  the  differences  in  face-valid  under of are  this  thesis  of  to  are know  accomplishing  distractible. i f their  often  upon  is  at  questions. normal,  assessing For  one  gets &  and a p p r o p r i a t e l y s e l e c t e d accuracy  a p e r s o n would  be  deteriorates The u s e  individuals  own competence  based  i f one's  discriminability  or  can  be  performance  obtained  questions,  high  on a number o f s e n s o r y  ( e . g . C o r e n & H a k s t i a n , 1987; 1 9 8 8 ) . F o r t h e p u r p o s e s  q u e s t i o n s might  include  i t difficult  conversations subjective  based q u e s t i o n s  when a s k e d  poor  ask  P o r a c , 1975) w h i l e t h r o u g h t h e use o f  of a s s e s s i n g d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y ,  make  their  very  simply  are present.  instance,  specific  dimensions  to  habitually  stimuli  ( e . g . Coren  of  is  performance  performance  accuracy  degrees  this  q u e s t i o n s i s important s i n c e  inaccurate  global  vision  based  individual  most s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d and  Presumably,  c o n d i t i o n s where d i s t r a c t i n g  performance  i s to predict  the  v i a a s e t of face v a l i d  they  expected  of  distractibility,  method  individuals whether  goal  of D i s t r a c t i b i l i t y ?  going measure  examples  "Do uneven  to  of such performance  based  shadows on t h e page o f a book  r e a d ? " or "Are you e a s i l y d i s t r a c t e d  on of  around  you?"  Such a p e r f o r m a n c e  distractibility  is  used  in  by  based this  Predicting  Individual Differences  in  Distractibility 27  subexperiment Inventory"  can  it  (See  predicted subjects  and  to can  a  behavioral  Encouragement  for  be  Broadbent,  found  in  (1982).  The  the  use  perception,  about the  frequency  of  where  25  something.  everyday  failures  1987).  Alternatively,  general  the  that a  aspects  Scores of  (1986)  attention  focus,  effective  the  the  search  (Harris & Wilkins,  attentional  Selectivity  in  CFQ or  CFQ  Inventory  CFQ  CFQ  related  that  we  a road  such  sign,  or  i s a measure  of  (Tipper  &  m i g h t be  more o f  Baylis, a  Broadbent e t a l  i s b e l i e v e d t o be inventory  task  used  as  well  1  1982;  is a valid  provided  (CFQ)  one  i s measuring  have been f o u n d t o p r e d i c t some  Chapter  the  t o see  of c o n c e n t r a t i o n  CFQ  Parkos'  impairments,  of c o g n i t i v e c o n f u s i o n .  the  and  function. It inquires  attention  described  that  for  motor  course  distractibility  Questionnaire"  argue t h a t the  the  tasks  of  measure o f s e l f - r e p o r t e d  is, failing  p e r f o r m a n c e on  suggesting  findings  of  was  inventory i f  Fitzgerald  components o f what t h e on  this  task  distractibility.  Failure  selective  failure  underlying  (1982).  al.  of  of  everyday performance  Some  self-assessment  note  own  Cooper,  memory and  Selectivity  distraction  of a s e l f - r e p o r t  a book  dropping  "Stimulus  The  is a questionnaire  in  forgetting  the  validation  "Cognitive  CFQ  failures  of  B).  accurately report their  using  did  entitled  Appendix  be  research  as  is  Martin  by  Broadbent  as  in divided  & Jones,  1984),  measure of some a s p e c t  cognitive  processes.  some o p t i m i s m t h a t t h e were  p r e d i c t o r of d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y .  developing,  et  These Stimulus  might be  Some c a u t i o n  of  an  i s needed  Predicting  Individual Differences  in  Distractibility 28  since  the  external  Broadbent  et  al  attention  related  distractor/task "intrinsic are  (1986)  task"  tasks.  of  deficits level  other  the  Poor  CFQ  that  were  seem  Harris  based  attention  to  be  (1982)  on  present  and  embedded  characteristic  form  p e r f o r m a n c e on  of  confusion,  i n disembedding a b i l i t y ,  "extrinsic  intrinsic  spatial  field  ability  and  different  of  into attentional a b i l i t i e s  f a c t o r s , s u c h as  identification  the  Divided  t h a t might t a p  distractibility. to  of  obtained  performance  independent  due  validity  tasks  an  that task"  might  be  dependence,  or  or e v e n  higher  skills.  Method  Subjects The  272  distraction in t h i s  subjects  task  who  i n the  first  The  Stimulus  Appendix  B,  face-valid irrelevant  of  this  the  subexperiment  (visual/auditory) served  as  subjects  subexperiment. Stimulus  in  completed  Selectivity  consists measures visual  Mehrabian's "Test  of of  and  inventory are  Nideffer's  Selectivity  a  Inventory series  auditory stimuli.  "Stimulus  of  responsiveness  either original  of  Inventory here  as  questions  which  are  extraneous  or  to  Most of t h e  face-valid  Screening  Attentional  included  and  questions  items,  Inventory"  variants  (1976)  Interpersonal  or  Style"  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 29  (1976). as  The  Stimulus  either  a  measure  distractibility. could  select  seldom, items  Screening  Each  occasionally, are  "I  dripping."; difficult  find  to  Visual,  Auditory  General  the  subject  s t i m u l u s a l t e r n a t i v e s w h i c h were  "never,  was  structured  frequently  shadows  r e a d . " or  "I  addition  behaviorally a  trait  were  on  find  from  for  including  factor  of  explicitly (1973)  between  an  automatic  distracting,  predicted stimuli out  that that  such  personality  of  to  Arousal  4.  As  has  an  (1976)  inverse  t o s t u d y or  specific  listen  items,  12  of a r o u s a b i l i t y  as  of  screener  Increase arousal stimuli.  As  we  theories  suggest  and will that  Inventory.  been s u g g e s t e d as  a  as  will  see  example, Mehrabian  and  postulate and  we  a  connection  stimulus  screening•  rapid  Mehrabian  a non-screener later,  certain  is  Russell  exposure  tends to  both a r o u s a l  inherent  the  habituation and  tends to avoid  see  The a  distractibility,  stimuli.  Scale  t h e i r p o t e n t i a l as  i r r e l e v a n t s t i m u l i and  stimulus  is  a book make i t  frequently,  tendency  irrelevant a  due  processes quite  the  screening  of  faucet  nearby."  i t e m s was  seeking  screening,  page  Stimulus-Selectivity  Mehrabian  arousal  the  distraction  Chapter  and  concentrate while a  these  (1988) A r o u s a b i l i t y P r e d i s p o s i t i o n  these  in  that  a l w a y s " . Samples of  s e l f - r e p o r t questions  i n the  in attentional  Stimulus  38  so  it difficult  distractibility.  Russell  to  Coren's  included  predictor  the  validated  also  reason  more  to  and  to  to something with people t a l k i n g In  categorized or  it difficult  "Uneven  i t e m s were  of  item  from f i v e  Inventory  to  seek and  individual  Predicting  Individual Differences in  Distractibility 30  characteristics pattern  dictate  preferences  stimulation.  seeking  or  Thus  stimulus avoidance  for  exposure  predispositions c o u l d a l s o be  to  such  as  certain stimulus  u s e f u l p r e d i c t o r s of  distractibility. Arousal things West, the  as  seeking  environmental  1977).  lines  For  now  we  Arousal  Scale  will  or  common  to  many  trait  (Borkovec,  Suedfeld,  a  self-reports cross-validated  of  1976,  and  twelve  seems  theoretical  potential be  item  cognitive  more  &  along  4. Thayer's  multidimensional is  a t a r o u s a b i l i t y as &  Schwartz,  scale  is  arousability  used to p r e d i c t  appropriate  when  we  f o r a r o u s a l as a  factor  in  demonstrated  such  This orientation  Davidson  successfully  here  a  to  (Mehrabian  (1988) l i k e  as  have l o o k e d  1979;  general  inclusion  i n Chapter  arousal  who  Coren's  p e r f o r m a n c e as w i l l  i s done  subdimensions.  others  of  perception  consider a r o u s a b i l i t y  views  set  1980).  and  P r e d i s p o s i t i o n Scale  (1978),  phenomenon  been shown t o r e l a t e  preference  of a r o u s a l s t a t e as  Coren's Arousal  t e n d e n c y has  i n the next  a  1976;  based  on  and  was  insomnia.  Its  consider  the  distractibility chapter  of  this  thesis. Apparatus The criterion Inventory prior was  distraction measure was  task  and  described  i n chapter  for d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y .  administered  to the  t o a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of t h e completed  Procedure  before  the  test  The  Stimulus  experimental  distraction i n order  2 served  five  The  to a v o i d the  the  Selectivity  groups  test.  as  weeks  inventory  possibility  Predicting  Individual Differences in D i s t r a c t i b i l i t y 31  that  responses  on t h e s e l f - r e p o r t  memory o f how s u b j e c t s p e r f o r m e d Persons  for  omitted  whom  any  data  i n v e n t o r y might be b i a s e d by  on t h e d i s t r a c t i o n  were  missing  task  itself.  on a n y measure were  from the a n a l y s i s .  R e s u l t s and D i s c u s s i o n Overall,  there  self-reported composites  either  based  distractibility.) task. on  the t o t a l upon  and  inventory  indicate people  that cannot  there  are  no  and  significantly  to .20  Table against  the  the  General  distraction  they  how d i s t r a c t i b l e  hypothesis  are.  test that  Specifically,  r e l a t i o n s h i p s between t h e c o m p o s i t e  Selectivity  =.02  n.s.)  Inventory  or  Auditory  and e i t h e r V i s u a l Distractibility  o n l y two o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l  items  the V i s u a l D i s t r a c t i b i l i t y  were  measure  f r u s t r a t e d ? " r=.13 p<.05 and " I t i s e a s y f o r me s i g h t or s o u n d . "  A l l 50 i t e m s  2  on  assess  keep my mind on a s i n g l e  Distractibility  or  i n the d i s t r a c t i o n  the n u l l  c o r r e l a t e d with  p<.01).  s c o r e , or  c o r r e l a t i o n s between t h e i t e m s  performance  In f a c t  you e a s i l y  Auditory  between  arithmetic  selectivity  we a r e u n a b l e t o r e j e c t  (r  n.s.).  by f o r m i n g  performance decrement  m e a s u r e s on t h e S t i m u l u s  (r=-.02  relationship  stimulus  Visual,  significant  Distractibility  no  (obtained  The a b s e n c e o f s i g n i f i c a n t  the  ("Are  virtually  distractibility  of  subscales  is  ( r e v e r s e keyed)  were u n c o r r e l a t e d w i t h  r=  the Auditory  measure. shows  the c o r r e l a t i o n s f o r the various  performance  measures o f d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y .  subscales Notice,  Predicting  Individual Differences  in  Distractibility 32  from  the  which  table  were  that  based  significant  none  of the  upon t h e  further  explore  It  was  different  underlying  auditory  and  separate  dimensions  regression the  arousal  these  as  was  that  on  Eriksen's  of This  generalized designed  be  2)  Only  confusion as  distractibility.  only  search  performance  are or  not  an able  not.  while  the  the  CFQ  while  the  a  Cognitive  face  Clearly  tasks be  four  of  the  r e s t assess is  a  valid  such  25  items  general  subjective  Stimulus  i s of  a  the  valid  at  separate  as  we  have  i n the  CFQ  confusion. measure  Selectivity  subjective  face  with  a t t r i b u t e d to  tests  to  Failure  which  tests require  extrinsic"  as  multiple  correlated  can  intrinsic" "task  that  al's  inconsistency  from  distractibility  show up  f a c t o r was  subjects  distractible  into  visual,  a  predict  meaningfully  "Task  earlier.  The  meaningful  et  one  ability  items  was  f i n d i n g s might appear c o n t r a d i c t o r y  was  f a c t o r s . 1)  then  they are  (1982)  least  discussed  only  Broadbent  type.  attentional  the  Also,  g r o u p s d i d not The  whether  intrinsic  was  anticipated.  Thus i t a p p e a r s t h a t  performance  analysis  items d i d not  dimension. report  factor  in separating  test.  finding  may  a  distractibility  these expected  Questionnaire  It  data,  distraction  two  any  2  d i m e n s i o n s of d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y .  These n o n s i g n i f i c a n t  assess  Table  unsuccessful  general  on  to a c c u r a t e l y  the  those  predictability.  conducted.  on  including  a r o u s a b i l i t y items demonstrated  Insert To  composites,  Inventory  assessment items  of  do  of not  Table  2  Stimulus S e l e c t i v i t y  &  Pearson  Distractibility  Correlations  Visual Distractibi1ity  Aud i t o r y Distractibility  Stimulus S e l e c t i v i t y Subscales Visual Selectivity (n=262)  -.01  -.05  Auditory S e l e c t i v i t y (n=265)  -.06  05  .04  -.03  Arousability (n=258) Total Selectivity & Arousability (n=246)  02  All  non-significant  02  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 33  accurately  predict  the  actual  p e r f o r m a n c e under c o n d i t i o n s  of  distraction. The predict  failure  could  perceptual  statements  minds.  and  indicate  people's  p r o d u c t s do"  (Neisser,  that  "the  environment  ...  to  (p.241).  people are  1967  to  on  of  quotes  the of in  at  the  essentially  this  subexperiment.  We  introspecting  only  on  (e.g.  distractibility  (e.g.  assess  self-reports. in  this  Stimulus measure  The  confusion  t h i s subexperiment or  predict  arousal Why  Selectivity  that  related  to  we  may  own  perceptual their (1975a)  appraisal  of  f o r the  the  level"  describe  such  indicate  an  negative  be  capable  of  CFQ)  and  not  i s not  items d i d  did  clear.  not  face  not  more s u b t l e as  that  people  d i s t r a c t i b l e they are  apparently  Inventory  must use  factors  how  trait  the  distractibility  indicate  their  Stimulus S e l e c t i v i t y Inventory).  instance.  of  investigators  nonconscious  of  to  following  S i m i l a r l y , Mandler  findings  unable  The  consciousness,  account  of  subjectively  encoding  view which c o u l d  findings  and  w o r k i n g s of  anti-introspectionist  The  Nisbett  unable to  s i t u a t i o n s and  mainly  to  which other  appear  p.301).  Inventory  by  abilities.  processes  never  These  explained  observe  analysis goes  be  extent  constructive  themselves  Selectivity  cognitive  the  ability  "The  sensations  argues  Stimulus  (1977) f i n d i n g t h a t  many  doubt  the  distractibility  Wilson's rate  of  through  f a r e any  valid  items  correlate  better in  with  measures, perhaps  the our  However t h e s e d a t a  personality,  are  do  those  intelligence  or  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 34  physiological rather  than  factors  arousability  distractibility. situational individual  such  as as  immediate, a  trait,  I n t h e n e x t c h a p t e r we  a r o u s a l as a p o s s i b l e i s i n an e x t r i n s i c  if will  predictor  distraction  situational we  are  to  address the  o f how task.  arousal, predict issue  of  distractible  an  Predicting  Individual Differences  in  Distractibility 35  Chapter  Arousal:  Attention has  two  as  A Predictor  described  aspects  which  by  are  4  of  Distractibi1ity?  researchers  relevant  s u c h as  to t h i s  study:  (1955)  stimulus  selectivity  and  i t s i n t e r a c t i o n with  also  that  attentional allocation  i n t e r a c t s with  arousal.  may  recall  1  of  noted  The  reader  researchers in  noted  attending  were  problem  reaction presence turn,  to of  this  us  arousal  state.  This  is relevant  increase  in arousal  focal  begin  that  of may  these  " s t a t e " of an i n d i v i d u a l  distractors  be  both  (1973)  suggests that  stimuli  may  of t h e  that  Kahneman  c a r e f u l reading  a predictor  with arousal  (Kryter,  affects arousal, attention,  possibility  conceptualizations of  to  with  arousal  consider Let  b e c a u s e an  distracting  that  and  arousal  exposure  interacts  suggest will  to  Chapter  importance  to s t i m u l i  referring  present  the  from  arousal.  Hebb  they  to  the  is frequently 1985). and  If  arousal,  i t seems r e a s o n a b l e of d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y .  a  the in to We  below. an  overview  in order  to  of  pinpoint  i n f l u e n c e performance  on  the  different the  form(s)  distraction  test. Arousal Arousal  i s not  easily  Def i n e d  operationally defined.  It is  one  of  Predicting  Individual Differences  in Distractibility 36  the  more  diffuse  even t h o u g h orienting arousal  and  ambiguous p s y c h o p h y s i o l o g i c a l  i t i s commonly u s e d .  r e s p o n s e and s u b j e c t i v e  are a l l involved.  different  levels,  physiological  a  Since  One  the  the  most  implicated  of  Basis  intricate  start  and  having  neural  networks  cortex. regulates cortex,  i n determining  o f a network  cell  (Cajal,  1909).  This  the d e r i v a t i o n of the term  by s e n s o r y and motor pathways a l s o c o n t a i n i n g  many  activities brain  f o r "network".  Specifically, pathways the of stem  the whose  RAS r e c e i v e s  collateral  destination  is  i s an i n t e g r a t i n g mechanism  the  sensory  receiving  and t h e s p i n a l c o r d .  suggested  (Hernandez-Peon,  hence may a l s o be a s s o c i a t e d that  with  reticular  systems i n  as p h y s i o l o g i c a l e v i d e n c e  a r e l a t i o n s h i p between a r o u s a l distraction  that  areas of the  has  been  i n the  RAS  the  Findings  b o d i e s and  core  Essentially  of  our  from the s p i n a l cord t o  of i n t e r m i n g l e d  explains  (RAS), has been  The i n t e g r a t i o n o f t h e s e n s o r y and c o r t i c a l  existence  the  i n the Central  1966). RAS  with  The r e t i c u l a r  ascending  the  composed  is latin  factor  extends  appearance  interconnections. from  system  composition  which  surrounded  is  the  interconnective "reticulum"  is  a t many  of A r o u s a l  a s an i m p o r t a n t  arousal. This  thalamus  axons  to  System, the R e t i c u l a r A c t i v a t i n g System  fibers  is  place  c a n be a n a l y z e d  of  substrate.  of  repeatedly level  of h a b i t u a t i o n , the  or c o g n i t i v e m a n i f e s t a t i o n s arousal  logical  Physiological  Nervous  The n o t i o n  concepts,  f o r the  and a t t e n t i o n , and effects.  l e s i o n s p r o d u c e u n r e s p o n s i v e and  Predicting  Individual Differences  in  Distractibility 37  comatose  animals  improvement  in  discrimination source also  tasks,  of a r o u s a l  reticular  time  are  stimulation  performance  strong  improved this  accuracy  on  suggests  selective attention  of  evidence  ( L i n d s l e y , 1958). Since  stimulation,  increases  that  reaction  displayed  RAS  and  produces  monkeys  f o r the  RAS  as  monkeys i n t h i s  the  Reticular  in a d d i t i o n to arousal  a  study  d i s c r i m i n a t i o n tasks  that  on  with  Formation (Thompson,  1975) . Varying  Responses t o  H a b i t u a t i o n and Investigating us  back  to the vary  i n t o the  present  of  this  to  product  For  traffic be  habituation  Habituation presentations  and  such  1957,  at  are  attending  individual  way  we  on  are  dealing  brings  relevant  suggests that  people  i n which they respond can  easily  a task  ignore  while  others  to the  find  v i e w t h e s e d i f f e r e n c e s as  i n a r o u s a b i l i t y , i t i s u s e f u l to with  a  consider  individual differences  responses.  been  necessary  (Duffy,  the  some p e o p l e  If  orienting has  distractors  poorer  and  concentrating  t h a t we  and  perspective  i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s most  impossible.  of d i f f e r e n c e s  response  from a b e h a v i o r a l  example,  while  possibility  Or i e n t i n q R e s p o n s e  Everyday observation  in attentional styles,  sound  in  r e a l m of  study.  stimulation.  the  arousal  Stimulation:  defined for  1962).  differences  the  extinction  number of of  Those a d v e r s e l y  p o s s i b l y slower over an  as  attentional  a f f e c t e d by  to habituate  extended in  an  stimulus  and  time p e r i o d .  habituation  is  noise  therefore  Support  for  found  in  Predicting  Individual Differences  in Distractibility 38  physiological  recordings  EEG,  S k i n Responses  Galvanic While  changes  repet i t ion  in  "orienting to  that  information  describes  the  potentially  improves from  orienting  prone  discriminating  to  characteristics  to the  unaccustomed, ground  when i n p u t s collative thus,  changes  is  possible  to  (Pribram  information. orienting aroused  a  input  1975;  marked  this  treat  corresponds  Those  stimulus.  An  they  variables".  These  t o which the organism i s  the concept  (specifically  as  1969).  the the  novel).  The  "information";  stimulus  "information some r e s i d u a l Orienting set  perception  i n d i v i d u a l s who have a h i g h  ( o r who h a b i t u a t e  The  o f t h e i n p u t s , and c h a n g e s  Sokolov,  with  less  the o r i e n t i n g response  organisms  in  is  orient.  i s matched a g a i n s t  change  (1963) to a  f i g u r e appears  also define  for  response  s u r p r i s i n g , complex, and/or  experience  environment;  intensity  i n which a s t i m u l u s  s y s t e m s " where  by  t h a t produce  in  processing  triggered  capacity  presumably  which  response  Sokolov  novel  (1968) a s " c o l l a t i v e  characteristics  i t  to  i n the timing  are scarce,  i s a brief  environment.  relatively  stimuli  changes  known a s t h e  individual's  distraction  of inputs  sudden  rate,  in habituation,  response  response  an  the  and  l a b e l e d by B e r l y n e  the  results  response as a r e f l e x i v e  informative  individual  include  stimulation  r e s p o n s e " . The or i e n t i n g  receiving  in  of  such as h e a r t  (GSR).  s t i m u l a t i o n evoke a d i f f e r e n t  stimulation  were  of b o d i l y responses  is  i n the  of novel  threshold for  q u i c k l y ) not o n l y a r e l e s s  a p t t o be  b u t a r e l e s s a p t t o be d i s t r a c t e d . However, a s we  shall  Predicting  Individual Differences  in  Distractibility 39  see  below,  the  actual effects  much more complex t h e n the  Arousal, Hebb that  (1955)  every  and  that  on  performance  Let  us  this  dual  recall  irrelevant  ability  level  activation  The  goal  turn  distraction  surrounding seemingly  1985; 1974b;  a  the  this  refer  obtrusive  task  it  i n t e r p l a y may  have  may  be  I  will the  is  notion  both  Eysenck,  1982;  Easterbrook,  which  impact b o t h on  the  f u n c t i o n ) and  the  cue  the to  task  task  is true,  are  task  (Hebb's  consider  the  reader  and  the  1971). that  a  distraction.  performance  then arousal  may  under be  an  distractibility.  discuss  to  present.  be  between a r o u s a l  If t h i s  effects  to  convince  in  fact  function  ( S i d d l e & Marigan,  to  of  how  the  arousal  c o n t r a d i c t o r y performance  found  an  the  important  reflected  conditions.  to s t i m u l i  performing  is  exist  the  activating  to  (Hebb's  person  section  an  consider  where d i s t r a c t o r s a r e  distractors  p r e d i c t o r of  First  been  of  this  effective  potentially  to  suggests.  have c o n t r a d i c t o r y  of both to performance.  of  complicated In  "distractors"  be  Performance  and  may  that  function),  contribution  b o t h a cue  experiment  attend  p e r f o r m a n c e may  that researchers  i n an  Because  to  arousal  has  on  argument  D i s t r a c t i o n and  characteristic  and  performed.  preceding  suggested  stimulus  of a r o u s a l  improve  1959).  can  manifest  effects.  and  Mehrabian,  a m b i g u i t y and  impair 1976;  To  complexity itself  in  High a r o u s a l  has  performance Mehrabian  resolve  such  (Kryter,  & Russell, apparently  Predicting  Individual Differences  in  Distractibility 40  contradictory  performance  performance  are  hypothesis. Law.  presented:  the  models  performance which  in  occurs  turn  information.  to  irrelevant  as  Russell,  1974b).  stimuli  with  as  reasonable decrement  can the  individuals (stimulus  their  as  arousal  level  This  trigger use  due  to  for  arousal  the  arousal as  a  because  be  expected  individual  ability)  elicit  Response-Arousal  theory  Mehrabian  nonscreener must  p r e s e n c e of  changes,  predictor  of  vary  differences changes  in  & is  process  distracting  it- would  Thus to  respond  which i n t u r n  hence he  distractibility.  would  screening  viewing  in arousal  who  1976; the  and  screeners  a manageable amount  information  because  arousal  information  A decrease  non-screeners,  much i n f o r m a t i o n  manage. By  Theory,  irrelevant  (Mehrabian,  occurs  distraction.  Stimulus  i s processing  Response-Arousal The  out  relevant  of  Theory  arousal.  individual  too  and  distractibility.  well  to  distractibility  by  Yerkes-Dodson  explanations  Rate-Arousal  This c o n t r a s t s with  their  t h e n he  Information  lowers  elevates  bombarded  Rate - A r o u s a l  and  Rate-Arousal  the  different  individuals) select  because the  of  more  the  caused  (non-distractible which  Information  i s i n f l u e n c e d by a r o u s a l  to  are  models of a r o u s a l  T h e o r y and  provide  Information  changes  the  Response-Arousal  These  According  f i n d i n g s , three  seem  performance arousal  and  together  in  selectivity  in arousal.  Theory makes s i m i l a r  p r e d i c t i o n s to  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in Distractibility 41  the  Information  According  to Kryter  theory,  theory  be  rather  used  but  the  reasoning i s reversed.  (1985), an advocate of the R e s p o n s e - A r o u s a l  differences  selectivity, can  Rate  in  arousability  cause  differences  t h a n t h e o t h e r way a r o u n d .  to predict  not only a d i r e c t  in  This reasoning  relationship  between  a r o u s a b i l i t y and d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y b u t a l s o c a n be u s e d t o p r e d i c t facilitation arousal or  of  either  enhanced  systems. that  performance  to  can cause d i s t r a c t i o n  performance  by  associated response  in  arousal  can  with a p a r t i c u l a r is  compatible  occurs. mediating  variable  and  still  performance:  in  the  dealing  appropriate inverted-U against that  a  task,  conditions shaped  with  moderate  degree  network  system.  I f the  performance  impaired performance  arousal, theory  b r i n g s us t o a n of  arousal  and  Law  (1908), l i k e  arousal.  curve of performance level.  argued  Law.  Law  of  neural  improved  the Arousal-Response  b o t h i m p a i r e d and f a c i l i t a t e d  arousal a  by Hebb (1955) who  debated  the Yerkes-Dodson  Theory, p r e d i c t s  response  of task/response c o m p a t i b i l i t y as a  highly  Yerkes-Dodson  Thus  interference  appropriate  activate  Yerkes-Dodson The  v i a response  i s incompatible,  The i n t r o d u c t i o n  effects.  attention-response  with  o c c u r s and i f t h e r e s p o n s e  arousal  activating  T h i s n o t i o n was f o r s h a d o w e d  increases  older  due  This of  This  performance  law p o s t u l a t e s an  p r o f i c i e n c y when  inverted-U r e l a t i o n s h i p arousal  will  under  produce  plotted predicts optimal  Predicting  Individual Differences  in  Distractibility 42  p e r f o r m a n c e and result  i n diminished  The state  of  as  psychological of  from  with  sleep  that  is  execution  his  is  notion  hence  we  the  capacity  this too  can  but  high,  this  If  nor  determine  as  Yerkes-Dodson undergone  will  that  to occur two  i n moderate  extremes of  l e v e l s above  while  and  lower  & Dodson,  arousal  low,  of  levels see  c r i t i c i s m and  level. narrow  If and  Therefore  consistently  Which  effect  is  arousal.  of in  wide.  neither  disrupting.  level  the  attention is also  i s too  is  on  to  attentional  becomes t o o  focus  shaped  depends the  are  1908).  Central  i s l i n k e d to arousal  too  optimal  inverted-U  in  sleep  levels  attention.  effort  arousal  the  of  attention  is  is  i n c r e a s i n g stages  a t t e n t i o n a l focus  consistently  shall  curve  is  (Yerkes  level  conceptualization  severe  low  of a r o u s a l  similar  invest  that  precise we  a  in turn,  o b s e r v e d d e p e n d s upon t h e Because  too  d i s o r g a n i z a t i o n . Optimal  task,  t i m e b e c a u s e the  conclude  facilitating  to  ability,  unstable.  unstable  a  describes arousal  is  through  considered  of  between  individual's  or  aspect  (Hebb, 1 9 5 5 ) . A r o u s a l  (1973)  model  high  inverted-U  i s , between t h e  relationship  arousal  the  f o r adequate performance  Kahneman  process;  by  a l e r t n e s s and  functioning  disorganization  insufficient  captured  extreme  arousal,  interfere  too  or w a k e f u l n e s s . T h i s  varying to  that are  performance.  excitability  wakefulness  states  levels  type of a r o u s a l  portrayed  and  arousal  arousal the  are  following  of a r o u s a l  and  difficult section, performance  r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n (Brunia,  to the has  1979).  Predicting  Individual Differences  in Distractibility 43  Fortunately inverted-U  for  relationship.  differences affect  us, the goal  of t h i s  Since  we a r e c o n c e r n e d w i t h i n d i v i d u a l  i t i s important  on  our t a s k .  an  a d e q u a t e measure o f a r o u s a l .  First,  Researchers  Kryter,  from  one  to  another  .3  while  with  each  when  others the  biochemical  different  other  ( T h a y e r , 1978; B r u n i a , behavioral,  arousal  autonomic,  are often dissociated  p h y s i o l o g i c a l measures o f a r o u s a l  systems  of  arousal.  A f u r t h e r problem  T h e r e a r e a l s o some  i n d i c a t e increased  arousal,  dissociated  are  Thayer  arousal  indicate not  valid  i s that  measures that as  separate  from one a n o t h e r  p r e d i c t o r s of the behavioral  of a r o u s a l .  1978).  measures  contradictory  somatic  only  (Thayer,  .2  arousal  i n d i c a t e d e c r e a s e d a r o u s a l . T h e s e low c o r r e l a t i o n s  measures  poor  of  t h a t many s y s t e m s and  1967). T h i s d i s s o c i a t i o n i s s u p p o r t e d  particular  often  different  not  involved  States  (Lacey,  of f i n d i n g  r a t e , s k i n c o n d u c t a n c e and EEG) u s u a l l y c o r r e l a t e o n l y  occasions  and  and  its effects  in establishing a single  due t o t h e f a c t are  seems t o  Arousal  difficulty  1985).  the f i n d i n g that  (heart  had  correlates  electrocortical  in  have  measure o f a r o u s a l  physiological  t h a t we c o n s i d e r  however, we must a d d r e s s t h e t a s k  Measuring  1979;  i s not t o t e s t the  i n p e r f o r m a n c e , however, and s i n c e a r o u s a l  performance,  optimal  thesis  single a  arousal  this  upon  component  general  index o f  systems a r e  but they are a l s o  and s u b j e c t i v e  (1978) a d d r e s s e d  based  often  manifestations  differentiated  view o f  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in Distractibility 44  arousal which  and  attempted  directly  discernable  to derive  tapped  aspects  into  a self-report activation  the  of a r o u s a l .  behavioral  as the " A c t i v a t i o n - D e a c t i v a t i o n - A d j e c t i v e  in  the  present  study  to  and s u b j e c t i v e l y  His inventory  to  assess  the  scale  which  is referred  c h e c k l i s t " i s used  arousal  state  of  an  individual. Thayer's validated  against  correlated not  subjective  with  several  four  significantly  include  heart  finger  blood  account  volume  physiological that  received  high  measures  which from  ( e v e n t h o u g h t h e y do  muscle a c t i o n  1967, 1 9 7 0 ) .  the  bodily  One f a c t o r  between  measures  p o t e n t i a l and  the  that  may  separate  T h a y e r s e l f - r e p o r t measure i s activity  i s available  as an i n t e g r a t i n g mechanism f o r  various  h a s been  significantly  t h e m s e l v e s ) . These  correlations  and  about  acts  resistance,  states  It is  measures  among  (Thayer,  the  information  cortex  physiological  skin  of a r o u s a l  d i r e c t measures.  correlate  rate,  for  assessment  physiological  systems  from t h e  information  ( E y s e n c k , 1975,  p.441). Additional  explanations  Thayer)  being  arousal  include:  physiological compensatory  superior 1)  to  Many  for a global  i n order  subjects 2)  show  Different  to maintain  Systems have d i f f e r e n t r e s p o n s e  unique  measures o f patterns  of  s y s t e m s may a c t i n  homeostatic balance  l a t e n c i e s and t i m e s  response  limits  of  organismic a c t i v a t i o n than o t h e r s  total  ( s u c h as t h e  isolated physiological  responsiveness fashion  measure  and 4) Some s y s t e m s may be more (Duffy,  3)  for reaching representative 1962).  This  Predicting  Individual Differences  in Distractibility 45  study  avoids  these  measure t o d e t e c t The in  a  problems  behavioral  usefulness  number  arousal  of  of Thayer's s e l f  performance  (Martin  &  physiological  measures d u r i n g  Thayer with  absence  backwards)  self-report a composite  successful  in  which  which  passive  not o n l y  shown  a r e known t o e l i c i t These  experiments  intercorrelations  between  ( e . g . r e s t i n g ) and a c t i v e  conditions.  of v a r i o u s  a l s o has been  1980).  of  arousal  of arousal.  report  tests  Venables,  an  counting  Thayer's g l o b a l  consequences  demonstrate  (e.g.  by u s i n g  This  contrasts  was s i g n i f i c a n t l y  with the  correlated  p h y s i o l o g i c a l measures but a l s o  discriminating  between  active  and  was  passive  conditions. Another is  that  i t eliminates  administered this  to  self-report  representative single  pragmatic  a  reason f o r using t h e need  l a r g e group appears  of a general  psychophysiological  measure o f p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l somatic a c t i v i t y  (Martin  to  t h e Thayer s e l f - r e p o r t  f o r a p p a r a t u s and c a n be of s u b j e c t s .  More  easily  importantly,  be  an i n t e g r a t i v e v a r i a b l e more  status  of b o d i l y a c t i v a t i o n than any  v a r i a b l e . I n sum  i t i s an  effective  i n t e g r a t i o n o f o n g o i n g a u t o n o m i c and  & Venables,  1980).  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in Distractibility 46  Method  Subjects The first In  308  subjects  subexperiment,  addition,  the  no d i s t r a c t o r  who  completed  served  as s u b j e c t s  36 s u b j e c t s who  search task  used  distraction  in  this  immediately Inventory  was  and/or  self-report  Thayer's  inventory  self-descriptive  scored format  provided  was  an  by  (1979)  Computation  and of  individual  a  can  on  i t became  clear  each  The  easily  response  moderately...,  moment" i n r e s p o n s e  m e a s u r e s of a r o u s a l  state  a  level  pre-test  arousal involves  C.  1965)  t o p r o v i d e an  f e e l at t h i s The  Thayer's  (1961,  of a c t i v a t i o n .  include:  state  used  of the  i n Appendix  Nowlis' work  and  Arousal  impact  state.  appears  of  was  preceding  "definitely...,  criticism.  arousal items  be  levels  post-test  here.  the Thayer  arousal  From t h e i r  to  Thayer  group  of t h e  subexperiment  test,  checklist  d e f i n i t e l y do not  the  first  extension  format  sections  t o a s s e s s the  on  mood m e a s u r e s .  changed  (Pre-Arousal)  the  is  measure o f t r a n s i e n t  Russell's  i n the  test  i n the  subexperiment.  Immediately  adjective  self-report  slightly..., to  used  task  Procedure  by s u b j e c t s  the  validated  a  and  the d i s t r a c t i o n  completed  three  as t h e c o n t r o l  subexperiment.  following  distractors  that  test  in this  received  served  Apparatus The  the d i s t r a c t i o n  level  (Post-Arousal).  obtaining  self-report.  arousal  a composite  A high  of  composite  Predicting  Individual Differences  in D i s t r a c t i b i l i t y 47  score  corresponds  arousal  caused  change)  is  by  of  high  performing  Thus  impact  a  obtained  Pre-Arousal. the  with  arousal the  from  state.  distraction  subtracting  the l a r g e r t h i s  the d i s t r a c t i o n  task  The change i n test  (Arousal  Post-Arousal  from  d i f f e r e n c e , the greater i s on an i n d i v i d u a l ' s a r o u s a l  state.  Results In  order  arousal  and  to  determine  distraction,  compared w i t h  the a r o u s a l  Simply performing does 3  increase  the  experimental  the  the  interrelationship  distractibility  between  scores  were  scores.  the matching p a r t  the l e v e l  where, P o s t - A r o u s a l  for  and D i s c u s s i o n  of arousal.  of the d i s t r a c t i o n  This  is significantly  i s depicted  greater  than  test  i n Figure Pre-Arousal  (t=8.1 p<.001) and c o n t r o l g r o u p s  (t=6.4  p<.001) . Since  there  visual,  auditory  arousal  at  can  the  task  and  these  no no  measures distractor  intermediary  impact  Nevertheless, either  were  of  the  sections,  t h e impact on  separate  be a s s e s s e d .  distractors  we c a n s a f e l y a t t r i b u t e t h e i n c r e a s e  arousal  distractors  i n between t h e  p o i n t s cannot  the d i s t r a c t o r s or the t e s t alone  of a r o u s a l  but this  effects  performed  task.  For  group,  compared  t o the experimental  itself.  be  Nor  assessed.  i n arousal to  To c o n t r o l f o r s u c h  we had i n c l u d e d a g r o u p w h i c h had no the the  three  s e c t i o n s of the matching  mean a r o u s a l  change was 13.1 as  g r o u p s whose a v e r a g e was 19.0. T h a t  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 48  the  presence  arousal  of  distractors contributed  state  post-test  is  evident  arousal  visual/auditory  to  the  increase  in  from a s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e  scores  experimental  which  exists  g r o u p and  the  final in  the  between  control  group  the (t=5.9  p<.001) . Insert Arousal general.  seems  to  Post-test  significantly  related  sections  the  recall  of from  also  For  the  as  2 to  groups  relative  better  and  have  in the  task  as  the  an  this  number c o r r e c t Z-score across  auditory/visual)  table  distraction  the  of  individuals.  indicate test  that  have  may  from  were order  scores  were  transformations  to  u n c o n f o u n d e d method  are  You  scores  confounds  in  for a l l  3.  distractibility  correct  level  responses  shown i n T a b l e  potential  between  performance  in arousal  correct  these  number  performance  on  number of  Hence  mean  may  correlations  change  t h i s same r e a s o n , t h e  the  we  and  eliminate  (visual/auditory  that  4  a d i r e c t e f f e c t on  that  standardized.  standardize  so  to  matching  so  effects.  have arousal  Chapter  standardized  Figure  experimental  the  same  examining The  the  positive  t h o s e who  a higher  scale  perform  final  arousal  state . Insert However  the  arousal)  and  nonsignificant reject  the  correlations performance as  shown  hypothesis  that  Table  3  between a r o u s a l decrement  in Table  4.  level  (or  change  in  under d i s t r a c t i o n were a l l This  distractibility  suggests that  we  may  is predictable  on  the  48a  Figure 4 65-i  CONTROL  EXPERIMENTAL  Legend  ea PRE-AROUSAL SB POST-AROUSAL  Table 3 A r o u s a l and The D i s t r a c t i o n  Task  Pearson C o r r e l a t i o n s Standardized Control -.01  Pre-Arousal  #Correct  Visual  .19**  .17**  Arousal  .15**  .16**  Change  * P<.05  ** P<.01  Auditory  -.03  Post-Arousal  in :  .02 .20*** .13*  *** p<.001  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in D i s t r a c t i b i l i t y 49  basis  of a r o u s a l  i n c r e a s e s due  t o the p r e s e n c e  Insert Although performance itself,  a and  measured  presence  as  distractors,  effects.  A  arousal  Kahneman  (1973),  the  strong  enough  simple  t o be  (1974)  task.  tasks,  It  is also  selectivity which such  a  way  absence  of  Stimulus Recall the  as a  to  some  to  arousal. (found  Selectivity  that  of a  task  was  and  cues  and  be  too  Russell must  be  complex  n o t be  measuring  of t h e  term  stimuli  in  i s s u p p o r t e d by t h e  c h a p t e r 3) between t h e the  distraction  I n v e n t o r y were  Inventory. a  a  test i s .  out r e l e v a n t  in  by  a r e a t t e n u a t e d on  might  This  link  (1976), i s t h a t  definition  to s e l e c t  Inventory  to  arousal  predicted  Mehrabian  i n performance  Mehrabian's  reduce  of  n o t have e l i c i t e d  distracting  items from Mehrabian's  appears  distractibility  was  Mehrabian  performance  relationship  Stimulus  selectivity  that  the a b i l i t y  Selectivity  that  as  may  sections  absence  i s e x a c t l y what t h e d i s t r a c t i o n  possible  to  the  of a m o d e r a t e l y or h i g h l y  differences  according  refers  an  changes.  that  performance  which  in  independent  for  study  arousal,  distractibility  r e s p o n s e or t h e d i s t r a c t i o n  stated  Individual  simple  this  i m p a i r e d by a r o u s a l  during  be  (1985) and  in  arousal  explicitly  introduced  in  used  to  distractibility  Kryter  distractors  decrement  explanation  and  between  of d i s t r a c t o r s ,  appears  possible  between  exists  performance  containing  distractors.  Table 4  relationship the  of  different  Hence,  included  Mehrabian's  phenomenon  i s measured by t h e d i s t r a c t i o n  test.  test.  from  Table  Distractibility Pearson Arousal: Standardized Visual  4  and  Arousability  Correlations  Pre  Post  Change  .06  .01  -.04  -.06  -.09  -.02  Scores:  Distractibility  Auditory D i s t r a c t i b i l i t y  All  non-significant  Predicting  Individual Differences  in  Distractibility 50  On  the  conclude caused  basis  that by  of  discussions  hand, in  rather  Chapter  Coren's  no  i t may  3,  Of  course,  wise to  limit  above a r e  however we  there  can  changes  was  no  Predisposition  such  on  the  basis  of  our  our  assertions  to  the  tasks.  consistent  a r o u s a b i l i t y , v i e w e d as  (1988) A r o u s a l  here,  p e r f o r m a n c e d e c r e m e n t under  than g e n e r a l i z i n g across  that and  used  r e l a t i o n s h i p between a r o u s a l  be  r e s u l t s presented  distractibility by  is  measures  distraction.  above,  task, the  there  the  i r r e l e v a n t s t i m u l i and  conditions  present  of  On  w i t h our  relationship a trait,  Scale.  the  and  other  finding between measured  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in Distractibility 51  Chapter 5  Personality: It  is  response noise  a  hearing.  noise,  in  known  startle  traits  these  we  response  measured  experiments  we  linked  traits  to  tested  most  Individual  (cited  Chapter  a  4 we  include  1964b).  as p e r s o n a l i t y  found  i n terms o f that  i n Chapter  behavioral  t o see i f o t h e r  susceptibility  obsessive-compulsive  differences  arousal 3, where  predisposition,  of a s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p .  attempt  patterns  i n Gray,  characterized  to d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y , while as  100 dB  i n d i v i d u a l s with  have been d e s c r i b e d  In  arousability  will  trigger a similar  have been d e m o n s t r a t e d i n  (1960)  are  arousal.  a s i m i l a r absence  chapter  in  ones t o o .  t o the environment  differences  i s unrelated  found  are  in  stimuli  F o r example an u n e x p e c t e d  and many o f t h e s e t r a i t s  differences state  many  they possess unique  a number o f B e r l y n e ' s of  of d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y ?  W h i l e p e o p l e do s h a r e common r e s p o n s e  responsiveness  Many  that  i n d i f f e r e n t people.  triggers  intact to  well  A predictor  personality  we  In t h i s variables  t o d i s t r a c t i o n . The p e r s o n a l i t y  extraversion,  sensation  seeking,  and Type A b e h a v i o r .  Extravers ion/Introvers ion Predicting measures Eysenck  of  individual  extravers ion  ( 1 9 6 7 ) . He d e f i n e d  differences and  in  introversion  an e x t r a v e r t e d  attention  was  with  initiated  by  i n d i v i d u a l as o u t g o i n g  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in Distractibility 52  and  sociable  withdrawn (1927) as  while  and  introverted  self-contained.  construct  Hull's  an  reactive  extraversion/introversion  to  refers  ignore  ability  as  having  potential having  These  strong  e f f e c t s are  neural  system  traits.  Inhibitory  Excitatory  certain  differences  strong  and  in  weak  behavior  that  by  behavior  introversion extravers ion.  that  a  link  i n t r o v e r t s would be more  impaired  t e n d e n c y t o be t o ignore  for  Eysenck's  explanation  was  found  drug  while  exists.  predicts  instance  and t h e i r weak a b i l i t y  altering  stimulus  For  studies,  drugs.  Stimulant  depressant  drugs  influenced  stimulation.  of i n t r o v e r s i o n  on t h e i n t r o v e r s i o n / e x t r a v e r s i o n  arousal  responding  difference  i f one r e c o g n i z e s  stimulation  position  characterized  and weaker  This  by  in  inhibitory  and a f a s t e r and s t r o n g e r  and o v e r t  predict  characterized  inhibitory potentials.  i n a slower  introverts. in  According  reactive  excitatory  d i s t r a c t o r s because of t h e i r s t r o n g  extraversion  r e f e r s to the  i n d i v i d u a l s c a n be and  or tendency  by s t i m u l a t i o n .  by  Support  potential  i n d i v i d u a l s c a n be  activity  t h e o r y would  ability  introverted  i n extraverts  response  this  personality  manifested  arousal  between n e u r a l  and e x c i t a t i o n a s w e l l describe the  excitatory  whereas  Pavlov's  to further  (1967) e x t r a v e r t e d weak  t o be  inhibition  o r t e n d e n c y t o be i n f l u e n c e d  Eysenck  (1967) u s e d  t o an i n d i v i d u a l ' s n e u r a l  stimulation.  to  as  Eysenck  of i n t e r n a l i n h i b i t i o n  (1929)  potential  i n d i v i d u a l tended  where  a  versus  person's  d i m e n s i o n was s h i f t e d  drugs produce produce  a  increased  shift  toward  Predicting  Individual Differences  in D i s t r a c t i b i l i t y 53  Because  extraverts  neural  inhibition  to  more  be  with  this  have  a  average  and  Mangen,  1974;  Stelmack, under  greater  sensitivity  conditions distractible. to  in  Consistent  have d e m o n s t r a t e d  and &  Michaud, here,  introverts  Because o f t h e i r impaired  seek i n q  rather  defines  sensation  complex  sensations  physical  and s o c i a l  sensation  sensations. (change),  ( S t e l m a c k and C a m p b e l l ,  1977).  In t e r m s o f t h e  we  might e x p e c t  to  manifest  with  introverts  higher  threshold,  that  itself  this under  being  more  introverts are  Seek i n q  distractibility  than  general  seeking  may be l i n k e d t o  extraversion.  as  the  need  risks  (1979 )  novel  and  t o take  f o r t h e sake o f s u c h an e x p e r i e n c e . chooses  s t i m u l i that  c o m p l e x i t y and r i s k i n e s s .  in  Zuckerman  for varied,  These s t i m u l i a r e c h a r a c t e r i z e d  sensation  sensation  and e x p e r i e n c e s and t h e w i l l i n g n e s s  seeker  tends t o habituate  itself  Morrish,  exposure t o d i s t r a c t o r s .  Alternatively,  in  introverts  p e r f o r m a n c e on t h e d i s t r a c t i o n t e s t  Sensation  high  that  for vision (Siddle,  hearing  distraction  have  generates  s e n s i t i v e than e x t r o v e r t s .  consideration  of  we would a l s o  threshold  Achorn  system that  introverts  1969)  problem  neural  expect  prediction, studies  White  during  a  more q u i c k l y ,  perceptually  lower  expected  have  The  A  maximize i n t e r n a l  by n o v e l t y ,  sensation  variety  seeker  also  f a s t e r t o s t i m u l i t h a n does an i n d i v i d u a l low  seeking. performance  We on  would e x p e c t the  for this  distraction  test  to manifest with  high  Predicting  Individual Differences in  Distractibility 54  sensation  seekers  tendency to  being  more d i s t r a c t i b l e  so as  to counter  their  habituate. Obsessive-Compulsiveness  The  standard  "excessively compulsion  concerned is  particular  the  with  individuals obsessive  with  (Rachman, studies  have  a  1965). how  some  1980,  which  narrow  individual  highlight  v i e w of t h e  may  be  Viewing  attentional  attention  obsessive/compulsive  light,  possesses  qualities  many  scanning can  be  ability  scan  their  The  spotlight  though the  i t passes  broader  leads  to the Gordon  individuals Failure  a wide  (1985) have  higher  scores  found  on  which  other  failures  that  the  obsessive  suggest  (Wachtel,  width,  1967  helps  a beam o f  as  1967,  with  having  a wide  field.  1982  purportedly of c o n c e n t r a t i o n .  t e n d e n c y t o do  even  spotlight  distractible.  (1986) showed t h a t Broadbent's  an  p . 4 1 8 ) . Hence  a narrow  more  and  obsessive  s h a r p l y focused  (Wachtel  and  intensity  analogy,  an  individuals  An  over  that  light  normal  spotlight  coupled  Broadbent  Questionnaire"  also  field  description  that  1966).  t h a t o b s e s s i v e s are  and  and  as  i s n a r r o w and  of s c a n n i n g  prediction  distractibility (1986)  attentional  however  over  range  such  c h a r a c t e r i z e d by t h i s  itself  with  Attention, like  (Hernandez-Peon,  individual,  some a c t i v i t y  a beam of  versus  be and  field  as  i s to  activity"  This  non-distractible  distraction.  to  or  demonstrate  i n a t t e n t i o n and  of  idea  p.3).  differ  extent  term obsession  " p r o p e n s i t y t o c a r r y out  care"  together  Shapiro,  clinical  obsessive "Cognitive measures Broadbent  well at his  search  Predicting  Individual Differences in D i s t r a c t i b i l i t y 55  task  was  inversely  According more  t o these  distractible  correlated  individuals  i n the search  c o n d i t i o n . No  occurred  previously,  our d i s t r a c t i o n  search  then  in  the  obsessive-compulsiveness  task filter  task  to his f i l t e r  distractibility,  the o b s e s s i o n a l p e r s o n a l i t y .  findings obsessive  performance  task  with  task.  though  description  o f an o b s e s s i v e  attentional  field  (Gordon,  inversely  this  individual  runs simply  mentioned  t o Broadbent's  We m i g h t e x p e c t  be  t o be  differential  As was  i s more s i m i l a r  will  even  tasks.  appeared  then  that  related  to  counter  to  posessing  the  a narrow  1985).  Type A/Type B P e r s o n a l i t y The as that  Type A c o r o n a r y - p r o n e  an " a c t i o n - e m o t i o n c a n be o b s e r v e d  in * chronic, less is  and  time  characterized  achieve  i n any p e r s o n  Type  A  who  impatient,  & Glass,  individual  having  1975). include:  conscientious,  work-oriented  and  (Matthews,  the  more  an  related  enhanced  & Glass,  punctual than  urgency  qualities sense  of  1978), an o v e r l y  orientation  one a c t i v i t y  at a  and a time  1982).  Although of  on  person  an e x c e s s i v e d e s i r e t o  Other  (Carver  concentrate  more and more i n  a c h r o n i c sense of time  and a g g r e s s i o n  to  i s aggressively involved  G e n e r a l l y a Type A  competitiveness  tendency  & Rosenman, 1974 p.67)  struggle to accomplish  ( G l a s s , 1977) and h a v i n g  the  p a t t e r n has been d e f i n e d  (Friedman  (Houston, 1987).  as  (Burnham, P e n n e b a k e r of  complex"  incessant  less  behavior  Type  qualities  B i s not the a n t i t h e s i s  o f t h e Type A, many  do seem t o be p o l a r o p p o s i t e s .  F o r example,  Predicting  Individual Differences  in  Distractibility 56  Type  B  individuals  easy-going, Type  B  patient  may  Support  exists  research  Checklist study  be g o a l  which  (Herman, found  relevant  and c a l m demeanor. oriented  Blumental,  use Black  self and  A  which simply  between Type A's and Type B's  made  that  crucial  feature  to  study  this  performed  Type  A  of &  the  C h e s n e y , 1981).  This  adjectives  like  rated  ambitiousness  Gough-Adjective  d i d not d i s c r i m i n a t e  will  since  their  But  this  does  provides  suggests  Type  A/Type  that their  individuals  simultaneous Dembroski, accomplish  provide  us  with  tendency  to  engage  to  such  prediction  performance  on  multiple  Because  these  l o t by s i m u l t a n e o u s l y  i n polyphasic tasks  completing  may  manifest  itself  in  perspective  poor p e r f o r m a n c e  suggests  that  of  which  t h e Type  behavior or  (Matthews, 1982;  individuals  c o n s u m i n g t h e maximum amount o f a v a i l a b l e  This  a  incorporates  and  tasks.  prone  One c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f Type A b e h a v i o r  1988). a  tasks  p e r f o r m a n c e on t h e d i s t r a c t i o n  a p r e d i c t i o n of d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y ,  individual's  B distinction  p h y s i c a l and m e n t a l a c t i v i t y a r e a c c e l e r a t e d . not  distractibility.  the  i n d i v i d u a l s . The o p e n i n g d e s c r i p t i o n o f  accelerate  task  of  i s t h e a c c u r a c y and r a t e a t which  by t h e s e  behavior  behavior,  A  relaxed,  between Type A's and B ' s . The  are  non-competitive,  and a c h i e v e m e n t  f o r an o v e r l a p  achievement-orientation well  be  Type A v e r s u s Type B p e r s o n a l i t i e s a r e n o t  opposites. in  to  and have an u n h u r r i e d  individual  suggests that  tend  attempt  multiple  information,  to  tasks this  on a t t e n t i o n r e l a t e d  Type A's s h o u l d  be h i g h l y  Predicting  Individual Differences  in  Distractibility 57  distractible. A's  This  possess  a  wide  non-discriminating An  opposing  task  i s based  A's  and  on  differ  to  their  inhibit  peripheral  B  task  Type A  An  important  way  the  tasks  to tasks  and  i n d i v i d u a l s are  the  result  less  i s based  same a b i l i t y  criterion  on  as  challenging  environment  demonstrated  the  findings  categorization moderately difference occurred  (Matthew,  importance  or in  significant task  only  highly performance  between Type A and  the  the  Type  tended were  actively as  This  more  finding  than  distraction  Type  nullify may  only  appropriately Studies  challenge  as  of  have  well  performance  such on  in conditions perceived Since  no  non-challenging  Type B i n d i v i d u a l s ,  this  as  behavior.  (1983) d e m o n s t r a t e d in  the  task.  which can  Type A p a t t e r n  challenging. the  to  Type A b e h a v i o r  differences  in  that  assumption that  1982).  & Neuman  occurred  distraction  distractible  of p e r c e i v e d  Humphries, Carver  where  and/or  events that  i n d i v i d u a l s by an  control in triggering by  Type  allocate their  test).  o f Type A b e h a v i o r  susceptible  the  t e s t ) and  the  elicited  from  and  reaction-time  be  study  lax  events portrayed  performance p r e d i c t i o n s i s t h a t the  A  that  e x p e r i m e n t , Type A's  any  perceived  with  i n which they  task  on  signal  This  assesses  idea  (1979) f i n d i n g  or c e n t r a l ( S t r o o p  attention  individuals.  dual  i n the  attention  (auditory  suggests that  attention  Brunson's  In a d u a l  important  their  of  of p e r f o r m a n c e on  Matthews and  to tasks.  as  beam  the  filters.  attention  portrayed  i s c o n s i s t e n t with  prediction  Type B's  focus  also  a as  significant situations has  serious  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 58  implications possible  for  that  challenging Type  A's  Type-B  the  to  Type try  speed  or  evoke the B's.  to  individuals.  accuracy,  on  distraction  enough t o and  expected  performance  the task  distraction  task.  It  is  will  perceived  as  not  attentional  differences  Nevertheless,  master Whether  the this  distractibility  has  t a s k more so  i s expressed  yet  between  Type A s u b j e c t s  distraction effort  be  to  be  in  are than  greater  determined.  Method  Subjects The first  272  s u b j e c t s who  subexperiment  Because  of  distraction  and  slightly  different  obtained  for  who  completed  is  as  Seeking  served  absenteeism test  the  Scale,  the  separate of  arousal  the  distraction  the  in this  time  original  test  Personality  Leyton  Inventory,  of  task  completion  The and  272  Obsessional  of  subjects,  the  239;  were  subjects  inventory  Inventory,  the  inventories,  number of  the  in  subexperiment.  personality  inventories.  noted,  Sensation  Inventory,  228;  and  248.  A p p a r a t u s and All  the  distraction  Eysenck  the  subjects  between  different  163;  F r a m i n g h a m Type A  as  subsets  both the  follows:  completed  Procedure  stimuli  and  procedures  subexperiment  but  with  the  were the addition  same as of  a  in  series  the of  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 59  personality weeks  of  inventories the  missing,  which  distraction  were  excluded  were c o m p l e t e d  task.  from  Persons  the  within  for  analysis  seventeen  whom d a t a  pertaining  were  to  that  dimension. Eysenck Subjects nine  weeks  measures  Personality  completed after  the  in  1971).  According  to  degree  the  Nervous  "inherited system  degree  of  (1971).  Inventory number o f appears  the  other  EPI  completed  tendency  the to  situations.  1979).  Both  Seek i n q  form  Central  i s l i n k e d to of  test.  the  the  nervous  I t has  been  Psychological  Scale  (Eysenck,  ( 1 9 4 0 ) , and 1 9 7 1 ) . The  a EPI  and  Form  V  V of  Sensation  the the  SSS  relatively 40  longer SSS  Seeking  Scale  s e v e n t e e n weeks a f t e r  The  contains  of  the  task.  explore  against forms  Scale(SSS)  & E y s e n c k , 1978)  distraction  seek  cross-validated  is linked  i n the  California  inventories  EPI  G.  (Zuckerman, E y s e n c k  completing  57-item  Guilford Extraversion  Sensation  (SSS)  a  The  (Eysenck,  factor  stability  Lanyon's  personality  i n Appendix  Subjects  is  or  factor  (EPI)  dimensions:  inhibition  Neuroticism  against  (1974), the  global  extraversion  and  lability"  The  two  task.  neuroticism/stability  excitation  and  cross-validated  and  Inventory  distraction  of  t o Eysenck, the  of  System,  the  terms  extraversion/introversion  (EPI)  Eysenck P e r s o n a l i t y  completing  personality  Inventory  measures  n o v e l and  items  and  form IV v e r s i o n  contains  five  subjects'  stimulating has  been  (Zuckerman,  subscales  which  Predicting  Individual Differences  in  Distractibility 60  include  Experience  D i s i n h i b i t ion, Seeking. such  Boredom  Shimona  as  (1964);  Experiencing of  the  related);  and  the  scales  highly to The are  Adventure  this SSS  related  to  relates  are  concerned rather  the  test  engage  in  an  highly  risky,  situations. and  that  whereas  Consistent perceptual  the  the  "Novelty  Harm A v o i d a n c e  Form"  (negatively  "Eysenck  Impulsivity  in  the  1979).  of  extraversion  of e x t r a v e r s i o n ,  and SSS  i m p u l s i v i t y f a c t o r than to  the  w i t h M u r r a y Need S c a l e 1979)  suggest  is, of  most p e r s o n s a p p r a i s e  sensation they  are  stimulation,  seekers tend as  seekers tend  finding, studies  t e s t s suggest  tests  sense.  high-sensation  low-sensation  that  that  or a s o u r c e  nurturant  this  of  the  audience  with  and  c o n s e q u e n t l y r e l a t e most  extraverted;  or  Garlington  s i m i l a r to those  dimensions  (Zuckerman,  and  Disinhibition in particular,  Correlations  as  the  Scale  measuring a s i m i l a r dimension.  and  the  Seeking  scale  (Zuckerman,  indicates that  behavior  of  dimension  to  i n a dependent  Evidence also  cognitive  the  egocentrically  with others  than  Eysenck  Sensation  Research  items  SSS  in general,  factor.  16PF  seekers  the  General  I n d e x " by  (1970);  S e e k i n g s c a l e and  strongly  socialization the  contain  Within  more  are  Seeking,  Sensation  subscale  they  f a c t o r of  scales  neuroticism.  and  Risk  these and  Pearson  Adventure  and  Sensation  "Personality  that  of  Thrill  by  indicate  and  "Change S e e k e r External  Scales"  Subscale  Most  between the  the the  Thrill  Susceptibility,  Correlations  measures  Scale"  Seeking,  that  moderately to avoid using  sensation  to or  such  various  seeking  is  Predicting  Individual  Differences in  Distractibility 61  expressed  i n an a c t i v e ,  processing et  of  a l 1972).  complex,  n o v e l t y - s e e k i n g approach  i n f o r m a t i o n (Zuckerman and The  SSS  appears  i n Appendix  Obsessive/Compulsive The the  obsessive/compulsive  subjects  test,  was  fourteen  a variant  Kelleher,  1973).  "Behavior  Style  Analysis  of  inventory  I n v e n t o r y " and original  following component  which  were  the  items:  behaviors;  4)Incompleteness; Component summarizing involves and  the only  methodological  performed Behavior  by  first  the  Survey  (Haynes,  test  Levine,  from  Careful. most  this daily  c o n t a i n s the a  principal  replies  emerged (1977).  of  in The  The a  way  of  normal s u b j e c t s incompleteness factor  analysis  i n Appendix  I.  Inventory  measured  Scotch,  Principal  Obsessive/Compulsive  study appears  i n v e n t o r y was was  The  economical  t h r e e components.  in this  and  here  DCounting,  the  Leyton  Evans & Kazaran  distraction  derived  and  that  components  Type A b e h a v i o r  s c o r e s on  and;  Framingham Type A The  Component  2 ) C l e a n & T i d y ; 3) D i s s a t i s f a c t i o n  shows  I n v e n t o r y used  used  the  and  original the  h e r e as  &  Checking  5)Methodical  Analysis  (Cooper  with corresponding  inventory  by  distraction  on a P r i n c i p a l  correlated  subscales,  Repetitious  the  I n v e n t o r y . The  The  of  completing  i s based  behavior.  analysis  i n v e n t o r y completed  version is retitled  Leyton  are s i g n i f i c a n t l y  H.  Obsessional Inventory  This revised  the  obsessional  after  of L e y t o n ' s  Zuckerman  Inventory  behavior  weeks  L i n k , 1968;  i n the  completed by  t e n weeks  after  the Framingham Type  Feinleib  &  Kannel,  A  1978).  Predicting  Individual Differences  in Distractibility 62  The  Framingham  significantly tension,  A  scales derived  categories:  shown  to  be  depression.  and  closely  (Chesney  developed  over  the  ability  assess  individuals'  perception  types,  related  Type  which  findings  5,  Although surveys  A self-reports  is  conditions  not  somatic has been  a recent  o f Type A  to predict  i n v e n t o r y used  and  debate  behavior  (Matthews,  1982)  coronary here  does  d r i v e and  contains  14  subexperiment which are presented  in  i n Appendix J .  of t h i s  and D i s c u s s i o n  i n d i c a t e t h a t e x t r a v e r s i o n , n e u r o t i c i s m and are  The  neuroticism  The Framingham I n v e n t o r y  Results The  stress,  sense of time urgency, c o m p e t i t i v e  of j o b p r e s s u r e .  be  include the f o l l o w i n g  anxiety,  the  to  ambitiousness,  This questionnaire  to  1987),  shown  (Haynes e t a l ) .  situational  a l . , 1981).  (Linden,  which appear  seeking  stress,  anger  whether d i f f e r e n t  for  behavior  Table  and  been  measure t h e same b e h a v i o r a l t e n d e n c i e s  prone  items  daily  mobility.  et  has  from the items  behavior  and s o c i o c u l t u r a l  pattern  with  lability  strains  has  Inventory  correlated  emotional  psychosocial four  Type  significantly  measured  as  a  c o r r e l a t e d with  performance  of d i s t r a c t i o n . Insert  Table  5  sensation  distractibility  decrement  under  the  Table  5  P e r s o n a l i t y and D i s t r a c t i b i l i t y Pearson C o r r e l a t i o n s Extraversion EPI (n=239)  N e u r o t i c ism EPI (n=239)  Sensation Seek i n g (n=163)  Standardized Distractibility Scores: Visual  -.04  -.03  .10  Auditory  -.00  .06  .11  General  -.02  .02  .12  Obsessive Compulsive (n=228)  Type-A Framingham (n=248)  Standard ized Distractibi1ity Scores: Visual  .03  .04  Auditory  .11*  .17**  General  .09  .12*  * P<.05  *•* P<.01  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 63  Some  of  the  administered,  however,  distractibility. that  other  Type A and  distractible  The  least  to  distractibility  patterns  is  consistent  visual were  the  auditory  that  a  significantly  more  distractors).  The  link  behavior  (1986) and  where  Gordon's  obsessive/compulsive  These  two  studies,  subjects to v i s u a l d i s t r a c t o r s ,  generalizes  positive  indicate  t o be  d i s t r a c t i o n r e s u l t s because e a r l i e r  distractibility  5  with  tend  Broadbent's  findings  were  link  i n Table  individuals  distracted.  though t h e y o n l y exposed  that  obsessive/compulsive  with  more  shown  auditory and  search  measures  demonstrate  obsessive/compulsive (at  individuals  do  correlations  between  (1985)  personality  we  even  support  demonstrated  across modalities.  (Recall  c o r r e l a t i o n between v i s u a l and  the  auditory  distractibility.) It  appears  that  conceptualization posessing  a  describe  these  narrow  uncontrollable description as  to  of  Wachtel's  obsessive/compulsive attentional  results. or  wide  (Gordon,  why  can  According  obsessive/compulsive scanning width  apply  However  scanning  1985)  of  description  p r o v i d e an  to  Type  the  A  to  is  an  individuals  simply  this  of  to  to an  spotlight  explanation tend  to  description,  unable  be an  control  the  spotlight.  attentional who  (1965)  adequate  adequate  this  as  addition  individuals  to  of  i s not  the  narrow a t t e n t i o n a l  similar  Shapiro's  individuals  component  individual  their  and  spotlight  obsessive/compulsive  distractible.  A  (1967)  also  spotlight tended  might to  be  Predicting  Individual Differences  in Distractibility 64  distractible. wide  beam  Both  of  of a t t e n t i o n with these  polyphasic than  Alternatively,  activity  impaired  performance  suggests  that  the  are  This  at  a  under A  c o n s i s t e n t with  could  individual  may  must  processed  interpretation, relevant  in  available  information.  in  efforts  their  to  an  In other be  information  r e s u l t e d i n impaired  tend  that  ultimately  and  is  predict possibly  surprising task  to  be  obsessives  unimportant stimuli  findings  distractibility  is  to  view the which  to  this  as w e l l as  process  a l l of the  words o b s e s s i v e s  and Type A's  This  use  or slow i n of  excess  performance. a s t o why Type A i n d i v i d u a l s by  importance  for e l i c i t i n g  Humphries e t a l (1983) of the d i s t r a c t i o n Type A  a challenging setting  i f obsessives  distraction The  responsible  This  According  to the i r r e l e v a n t  i s suggested  the perceived  that  to.  information.  interpretation  t o be d i s t r a c t i b l e  findings,  might  irrelevant  itself in  treating  thorough a r e u n s u c c e s s f u l  out  alternate  be  on more  a s two a c t i v i t i e s  attempt  screening  An  task  attended  t h e Type A a t t e n d s  information  be m a n i f e s t i n g conditions.  as w e l l as the matching or  t h e Type A's  distracting  distractors be  filter.  tendency t o concentrate  time  Type  A i n d i v i d u a l s may p o s s e s s a  a l a x or n o n d i s c r i m i n a t i n g  descriptions  tendencies.  one  Type  behavior.  A's c o n s i d e r e d  relative  to  One  would c a u s e Type A's  t o be l e s s d i s t r a c t e d . I t would and type  task  the  n o t be  the d i s t r a c t i o n  monitoring  of the  i n the environment. of  this  predicted  subexperiment by  suggest  that  some p e r s o n a l i t y d i m e n s i o n s .  Predicting  Individual Differences  in Distractibility 65  While  i t i s unrelated  and  sensation  seeking,  obsessive/compulsive obsessive/compulsive distractible .  to i n t r o v e r s i o n , e x t r a v e r s i o n ,  and  distractibility type  A  individuals  behavior. are  more  is  neuroticism related  to  Hence Type A and apt  to  be  Predicting  Individual Differences  in Distractibility 66  Chapter 6  Intelligence;  A Predictor  "When a h i g h - I Q s u b j e c t clearly  shows  advantage (Eysenck,  the  at  the  may rapid  has a w e l l - d e f i n e d properly  more  intelligent stimuli.  level  definitions  based  on h i g h e r  mental  processes,  adapt  to  of  level  intelligence  higher-order  in  1986  perception,  sensation  1921  and  perceptual/attentional  gap  and  Intelligence  defining that  process  include  attention  that by  opposed  to  The most  the idea  of b a s i c  and t h e a b i l i t y t o percent  of  basic  processes such as  as  key  a  These  a t t r i b u t e s were t h e s e c o n d most  commonly  to  intelligence.  intelligence.  as Sternberg this  Berg,  attribute in  1986).  of  &  perceptual/attentional  i n understanding  as  Twenty-one  used  (Sternberg  feature  amount such  i n d i v i d u a l suggests  thinking,  definitions  evaluators  information"  cognitive processes.  change.  tremendous  as h i s  i n t e l l i g e n c e as a function of  environmental  indication  considered  of r e l e v a n t  perceptual/attentional  definitions  used  he most  i n d i v i d u a l i s l e s s a p t t o be d i s t r a c t e d Eysenck views  common  defining  task  1982 p . 1 4 4 ) .  d e s c r i p t i o n of an i n t e l l i g e n t  low  be  sampling  This  irrelevant a  what  of D i s t r a c t i b i l i t y ?  This  is  a  strong  processes contribute Paradoxically,  a  recent  ( 1 9 8 2 ) , a c k n o w l e d g e d a tremendous  perceptual/attentional  contribution to  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in Distractibility 67  intelligence.  This  filling  this  in  subexperiment gap  perceptual/attentional The  and  more  of  resources,  greater  capacity  capacity,  individual  experiments  performed  Benlshai  &  Lotan  researchers  abilities  (1973) that  psychomotor  & on  Kahneman pilots  a  signal.  differences  do  There a r e a l s o exist  between  for  be t h e  or g r e a t e r  t o make s u c h a  and  intelligence  intelligence  t h i s goal  (1971) and  bus  relationship  ability  or some  and  e f f i c i e n c y and p r e c i s i o n ) With  or m a i n t a i n a l r e a d y d i r e c t e d  external  way  (e.g.  (1982)  attentional  l i s t e n i n g and a t t e n t i o n a l  Gopher  found  intelligence, rapidly  by  more  information One  pay  responsible  abilities  study.  dichotic  attention  i n t e l l i g e n c e may  1973).  flexibility,  difference  on  that  for processing  these  of  people  Sternberg  flexibility,  (Kahneman,  studying  attentional  brighter  is  higher  between t h e s e a t t e n t i o n a l  involves  that  process  attentional  validity  of i n t e l l i g e n c e .  suggest  instance,  efficiency  connection  were  For  more  cognitive  the  notion  perceptual/attentional  product  testing  e f f e c t i v e l y i s examined h e r e .  intelligence.  an  appealing  H a k s t i a n and C a t t e l l (1976)  other  i n the d i r e c t i o n of  descriptions  intuitively  attention  and  i s a step  and  studies  that  individuals  i n mind,  flexibility  and  Kahneman,  d r i v e r s . These exists  between  the a b i l i t y  attention  in  to s h i f t  i n r e s p o n s e t o an seem t o show  in their  that  attentional  capacities  ( B a r o n & T r e i s m a n , 1980; Hunt, 1980) and t h e y seem t o  be r e l a t e d  to differences  that  more  able  people  i n i n t e l l i g e n c e . In g e n e r a l  have more a t t e n t i o n a l  i t appears  r e s o u r c e s and  thus  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 68  will on  perform these  resources.  demonstrate 1978;  this  Hunt, One  more c o m p e t e n t l y when m u l t i p l e dual  relationship  t a s k method has  strategy  for assessing  and  intelligence  abilities  discrimination  learning.  Discrimination  as  least  important a s p e c t s ,  having  at  selective  target  involving  1982).  the  comes  Zeaman  and  in  basis  low  (1963)  with  task,  An  an  stimulus dimension  end  of  learning  of  subjects  showed  i n favor  (ie. correctly of  features).  or  forms have  are  correct  learning  alternate  and  initially  m i g h t be  in subjects  (Sternberg,  1982).  form.  An  persist but  The  retarded difficulty in  rewards.  This  responsible  for  with extremely  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of  preferred  to  s t i m u l i then  values with  i n d i v i d u a l s may  required  mentally  relevant  selective attention  (Sternberg,  i n t e l l i g e n c e spectrum.  that  of  involves  the  components  the  link  to  between c o l o r s  t h e s e two  the  i s conceived  f r o m n o r m a l s more i n t h e i r h a v i n g  ^intelligent of  of  associating  that  intelligence.  the  the  discrimination  low  Posner,  pertaining  p r o d u c t s of a t t e n t i o n  p e r f o r m the  irrelevant of  demonstrates  that  from  up  speed  impaired  to  one  which c o n t a i n e d a s p e c i f i c c o l o r  differ  giving  their  to  House  individuals  other  learning  which c o n t a i n s a combination  presence  target  example  the  the  discrimination  In o r d e r the  and  between  a  illustrated  select  two  attention  relationships  Studies  been used  (Norman & Bobrow, 1975;  experimental  attentional  selecting  placed  1980).  additional  between  The  demands a r e  these  low  results  is  in responding  on  actually  irrelevant  primary evidence  from  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 69  this  research  for  distractibility to  attend  The  and  encompasses (e.g.  verbal  which  are  in tend  consider  inclusion  of  intelligence  to  that  situations.  both to  be  is  a  function  to  individual  are  acquired  used  with for  Because  to  of  both  learning  intelligence and  crystallized 1982),  intelligence.  their  a  intelligence  (Sternberg,  general  examine  to  problem s o l v i n g and  of  indication  through  fluid  fluid  individuals  if  approach  consists  Crystallized  a measure of  us  of  determine  w h i c h measure t h e s e components of  allows  learning  S e v e r a l measures  which  capacities  covary within  tests  this  This contrasts  inborn  of  and  1974).  component.  abilities  novel  i n c r e a s e s as  intelligence  ability).  the  in  speed  These measures p r o v i d e an  fluid  the  the  experiment  assessed  general  that  intelligence  distractibility.  distractibility.  crystallized  may  finding  this  predict  are  subjects  ability  between  dimensions  of  can  intelligence  reasoning  i n the  relevant  intent  studying  link  (Zeaman & House, 1963,  intelligence  of  rests  to  intelligence  a  we The  generalized  relationship  to  distractibility.  Method Subjects The test  original  served  differential  as  272  subjects  subjects  absenteeism  in the  who this  actual  completed  the  subexperiment. number of  distraction Due  individuals  to that  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 70  completed 251;  the  various  Quick T e s t ,  235  tests  and  were as  Spelling  Test,  A p p a r a t u s and In  addition  distraction with  and  to  arousal  inventories  within  seven  weeks  days  resulted  for  whom  any  of  and  below.  were  loss,  missing  weeks  or  completed after  designed  business  Form  completing  for  selecting  industrial  settings.  successfully  predicting  employment.  Validity coefficients  and  fluid  years  (Wonderlic,  1977).  analogies,  logic  of  Persons  from  ability  Wonderlic  to  that  This  test  that  range 12  has  minute  test in  measures  been  proven  in addition  to  levels median  of test  .950  to  test  contains  .996  judgment  questions,  ability  questions.  items e s s e n t i a l l y as  This  most  from  (1977)  employment  between mean and  clerical  these  for  at  definitions, and  test.  Wonderlic Test  performance  50-item,  items  Wonderlic Test  intelligence  education  This  (1977) a r g u e s  individual's  generalized  problems,  relation  The  intelligence.  job  the  among a p p l i c a n t s  measure of  as  the  of  Test  distraction  a  Hence  separation  excluded  the  valid  Wonderlic  tested  completed  noted above.  of  and  spatial  as  The  IV  crystallized  scores  task.  were  the  analysis.  Subjects  was  in  s u b j e c t s were  were  Wonderlic Personnel  seven  p r o c e d u r e s used  These t e s t s  distraction  i n some d a t a  data  Test,  248.  subexperiments the  the  Wonderlic  Procedure  stimuli  described  test  particular  the  follows:  learn  as  well  general  provides  us  with a quick  measure  mental  measure of  an  ability. general  Predicting  Individual Differences i n D i s t r a c t i b i l i t y 71  mental in  and p r o b l e m s o l v i n g a b i l i t y .  The W o n d e r l i c  test  appears  A p p e n d i x D. Quick Subjects  vocabulary test.  completed  test,  crystallized pictures the 458  fits  suggest  and  that  correlation (Wechsler, 1972). is  .80  both  between  Mednick  Quick  following  GATB-J-Verbal  (r=.53),  J):Vocabulary  (r=.54)  found  but  whose  intelligence  Since  the  assessment  WAIS of  which  between is  (cited  test  has general  1965 c i t e d  been  the highest  intelligence  a s measured by  Comprehension Test  intelligence,  (Cull  correlations  (r=.51),  Battery Davis  s t a b l e even with  accepted  i n Buros,  Scale  i s not o n l y a v a l i d  performance  (WAIS)  The Q u i c k T e s t and t h e  Aptitude  i t i s a l s o very  Test  and a h i g h degree of  i n Buros, 1972). Test  from  no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e  Reading  General  four  on t h e Q u i c k  I n t e l l i g e n c e Scale  (1967) f o u n d  Gates  of  was d e r i v e d  s c o r e s and t h e WAIS V e r b a l  t h a t the Quick  intelligence,  data  1969; O g i l i v i e ,  T e s t and V e r b a l  tests:  o f v e r b a l or  and h a s been v a l i d a t e d on  reliability  There  mean Q u i c k T e s t  the  test  Wechsler A d u l t  Mednick,  the d i s t r a c t i o n  select  Published  (p<.001).  & C o l v i n , 1970).  (1970)  Subjects  adults.  the  1955;  completing  e a c h o f 35 words. T h i s t e s t  i t shows with  (1962), a p i c t u r e  an u n t i m e d s c r e e n i n g  The P e a r s o n c o r r e l a t i o n  between  the  provides  Range P i c t u r e V o c a b u l a r y  children  WAIS  weeks a f t e r  intelligence.  best  full  t h e Ammons' Q u i c k T e s t  three  The Q u i c k T e s t  Test  (Part  & Dizzone measure o f  populations  i s often highly variable. as  a  the high  valid  and r e l i a b l e  c o r r e l a t i o n s with  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 72  the  Quick  general  Test  suggests  intelligence.  The  Spellinq The  Spelling  modified  by  distraction  test.  misspelled  by  of  subjects  are  missing.  blank  to  provided obs  to  Each  ne/  contains  76  correlated  Math  the  of  or  rest  The  & that  of  Studies  Cattell, spelling and  that  in English  (r=.40), (r=.50)  1976).  spelling  intelligence.  Biology and  These  ability  to  is may  Hakstian  & Cattell  (eg.  minutes  (r=.50),  used  are  and test  significantly  average  well  as  Science (r=.50)  correlations  measure of be  5  test.  significant a  more  Hints  (r=.40) as  overall  or  spelling  be  which  cases  t a k e s 10  of  from 1 to  rant).  dictation  have been d e m o n s t r a t e d  Chemistry  require  fill-in-the-word  Simpson's t r a d i t i o n a l  tests  parts one  difficult  test  frequently  Assessment  a word s t e m , and  (e.g.  the  Instead  most d i f f i c u l t  potentially  This  1945).  Component  may  clean).  performing  words most  section  word  or  the  Spelling  blank  the  before  (Simpson,  s u p p l y o n l y the  items.  with  Social  intelligence measure  contain  with school achievement  (Hakstian suggest  weeks  students  Each  (r=.30),  (r=.50),  two  item c o n s i s t s  word  Spelling correlated  was  proper  .90  Assessment  (1945),  ambiguous  not  E.  Simpson's d i a g n o s t i c word t e s t  complete  in  i n Appendix  and  words,  sections.  letters  appears  of  updated  college  requires  i s a v a l i d measure  i s an  These t e s t s  entire  too  Quick-Test  Component  subjects  spelling  it  Component A s s e s s m e n t w h i c h  version  completed  that  as  crystallized an  indirect  (1978) have  found  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 73  that of  spelling  ability  perceptual  crystallized appears  is s i g n i f i c a n t l y correlated  s p e e d and  accuracy,  intelligence.  i n Appendix  The  &  indicate task,  i f we  number the  that  pattern  look at  correct.  This  correlations  sections spelling number  of  scores correct  speed  and  exists  turned on  number c o r r e c t  so  as  findings overall  the  on  the  test  who also  perform best do  so  on  Table on  the  the  subexperiment  and and  and  the  intelligence  test  7 we  a direct  the  three  Since  three  effective  and the both  relationship  s p e e d and  effects.  accuracy. conditions  Hence  these  predictor  of  task. 6  section and  the  i s a measure of  order  f o u n d , as  control visual  Table  on  intelligence  the  i s an  search  6 where a l l of  across  distraction  the  significant.  performance  potential  on  correct  conclude that  Insert at  as  Assessment  i n t e r m s of  in Table  number  positive  may  the  this  performance  distraction  for  that  performance  Looking  raw  were s t a n d a r d i z e d  control  suggest  out  we  of  i s demonstrated  intelligence  The  to  their  distraction  accuracy  between  findings  people perform b e t t e r  between  the  Component  well  Proficiency  of  intelligent  simply  Spelling  as  Discussion  Generalized general  intelligence  measures  F.  Results  The  fluid  with  m i g h t be of  the  expected,  those  distraction  test,  auditory distractor  sections.  Table  Intelligence Pearson Wonder1ic (n=251)  6  and Number  Correct  Correlations Quick (n=235)  Spelling (n=248)  S t a n d a r d i zed # Correct i n : Control  .24 ***  .12 *  .39 ***  Visual  .29 ***  .14 **  .42 ***  Auditory  .24 ***  .15 **  .39 ***  * p<.05  ** p<.01  ***p<.001  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 74  This  proficiency  across  sections  significant  correlations  People  who  were  poorest  whether d i s t r a c t o r s  the  positive  the  among a l l t h r e e  least  sections  proficient  were  correlations  across the three  (Hunt,  the  1980;  significant this  provides  the  and  Spelling  least  two  of of  attribute is  a  the the  between  the  individuals The  more  for  test three  some p r e d i c t i v e  distractibility  inverse  number c o r r e c t  mind  by  scores  table  i s a quick  in this  between  and  number Table 8  Intelligence  we c a n s e e t h a t  power  between  distractibility found  can  there  intelligence  and  correlations  scores.  Hence  t o be d i s t r a c t i b l e .  i s , t h e more l i k e l y  and p e r f o r m b e t t e r  Since the  Overall,  i n the n e g a t i v e  were  with at  s i g n i f i c a n t we  to i n t e l l i g e n c e .  relationship  and  measures.  are h i g h l y  and  the Wonderlic,  are s i g n i f i c a n t l y correlated distractibility  mind"  s t u d y by t h e  intelligence  link  individual  be low i n d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y of  a  low i n t e l l i g e n c e  i n t e l l i g e n t an  test.  performed  about d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y .  which i s r e f l e c t e d  intelligence with  "a b r i g h t  correlations  significant  of the  7  between  In t h i s  Quick  i n the  or n o t , as i n d i c a t e d  i s supported  us l i t t l e  evidence  distractibility.  majority  1981))  tells  sections  a t the task  the  Table  that  correlations  correct,  demonstrated  of the t e s t .  notion  Brand,  present  between  Insert Although  was  he  i s to  on d i s t r a c t i o n  type  meaningful, d i r e c t i o n a l l y consistent  and  tests. Table In  summary,  the  8  74a  T a b l e 7_ Generalized  p r o f i c i e n c y across conditions D i s t r a c t i o n Task  P e a r s o n C o r r e l a t i o n s on S t a n d a r d i z e d #Correct  i n Control Visual  .86***  Auditory  .87***  * P<.05  Scores  in :  Control # Correct  of the  ** P<.01  Visual  Auditory  .86***  .87*** .88***  .88*** *** p<.001  74b  Table  8  I n t e l l i g e n c e and S t a n d a r d i z e d Pearson Wonderlic (n=251)  Distractibility  Measures  Correlations Quick-Test (n=235)  Spelling (n=248)  Visual Distractibi1ity  -.14*  -.07  -.09  Auditory Distractibi1ity  -.11  -.12*  -.18*  General Distractibi1ity  -.15**  -.11*  -.16**  * P<.05  **  P<.01  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 75  significant  correlations  that  a link exists  can  safely predict  low  in  found  between that  distractibility.  i n t h i s subexperiment,  i n t e l l i g e n c e and  a highly  suggest  distractibility.  intelligent individual will  We be  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 76  Chapter  7  Conclusion: Subjective This  study,  examined  how  arousal, A  of  predictors  expected  to  be  measures  distraction  more  domains,  related  reports,  to  factors  emerged as  to p r e d i c t who  Type A b e h a v i o r  of  valid  intelligence  distractabi1ity.  Individuals and  measures  distractibility.  anticipated,  were found  intelligence  distractibility, intelligence  distractibility. the  To  do  statistically  variables  prior  to  distractibility  and  or  was  Various  performance  on  were  high  on  tended  to  pattern,  i t may  some be  personality  useful  personality,  t o ask  i s the  best  regression  significant personality  standardization.  were  cognitive  Wonderlic Test  and  this a multiple  (visual,  separately)  personality the  As  subexperiments,  predict  unexpected  test.  only  predicted  taken  five  distractible.  Since  on  of  personality  also  Distractibility  subjective  and  inversely  Actual  consisted  effectively  obsessive/compulsiveness be  -vs-  of d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y .  personality the  which  i n t e l l i g e n c e and  number  found  Impressions  auditory regressed variables.  (a measure o f  The and on As  general  w h i c h of  two  predictor  of  was  and  variables  performed  intelligence  d e p e n d e n t measures  general the can  be  of  distractibility  seven seen  independent i n Table  intelligence)  9,  accounted  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 77  for  a l m o s t a l l of  the  variance  in predicting  v i s u a l and  general  distractibility. Insert The  multiple  significant for  with  mainly  highest which  regression  4%  by  of  the  Beta weight was  reflect  regression  the  for  the  Beta  weights  Distractibility predicted  by  significant  intelligence  the  Wonderlic  be  predictive  tests.  display  to The  the  the  for  variables  was  Spelling  weights in  the The  ability  This  and  The  General was  best  regression  of  the  was  variance  s u p e r i o r i t y seems t o  on  occur  s i g n i f i c a n t weightings (Recall  greater  from Chapter  6  on the  spelling.)  inherent  internal consistency reliability  9%  only s i g n i f i c a n t  i n t e l l i g e n c e over  trend.  equation  s i g n i f i c a n t with  i n t e l l i g e n c e and  a  the  distractibility.)  7%  i n the  of  by  beta  visual regression,  test.  the  (The  equation.  predictive  split/half such  also  variable.  superiority  i s measured by  coefficient,  like  reflected  between  of  regression  Spelling  attributed  intelligence which  and  relationship  The may  as  regression  w h i c h have t h e  accounted  Overall  for  strong  it  i n the  was  accounted  is represented  f o r m a i n l y by  Wonderlic  and  This  predicting  behavior,  regression,  distractibility.  are  regression  this  the  test.  Wonderlic  accounted  in  in d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y  contribution  equations that  Obsessive-Compulsive  distractibility  visual distractibility.  relative  variance  9 visual  variance  the  Auditory D i s t r a c t i b i l i t y of  for  Wonderlic  predicting  the  Table  (or  For  personality  stability of  alpha  these  of tests  chronbach)  example, the  mean  T a b l e 9_ Multiple  Regression/Stepwise (n=107)  Visual Distractibi1ity Beta Wonderlic Quick-Test Type A Spelling Sensation Seeking Obsessive/Compulsive * P<.05  -.22* -.06 -.02 .02 -.02 -.01  ** P<.01  R=.22, R* =.04, F ( 6 , 1 0 1 ) = 5 . 5 p<.05 Auditory  Distractibility Beta  Wonderlic Quick-Test Framingham Spelling Sensation Seeking Obsessive/Compulsive  -.10 -.17 .02 -.30** -.16 .22*  R=.33, R* =.09, F(6,101)=6.6 p<.01 * P<.05  ** P<.01  General  Distractibility Beta  Wonderlic Quick-Test Framingham Spelling Sensation Seeking Obsessive/Compulsive  -.26* -.16 -.04 -.11 -.06 -.07  R=.27, R* =.07, F ( 6 , 1 0 1 ) = 8 . 5 p<.01 * P<.05  ** P<.01  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 78  reliability for  the  c o e f f i c i e n t is  Framingham Type A  for  the  Sensation  the  Wonderlic Personnel  correlations do  predict  can  be  toward  subjective  were u n r e l a t e d  arousal,  these  differences to  be  Assuming  that  and  to  may  distractibility other found  have and  the  and  for  intelligence  vast  that  between  in  of a  these  lead  us  predict these  of  to  no  believe  individual turned  extraversion link  out  distractibility.  in extraversion,  between  relationship  extraversion  however  for  variables  a more s t r e s s f u l or some  of  amount o f l i t e r a t u r e  also  a role  absence  tends  distractability.  arousal  measures  plays  and  s e e k i n g nor  of  however none o f  arousability, measures;  .91  f o r s p e c i f i c measures  should  Perhaps resulted  and  and  sensation  The  correlation  personality here .  level  .78  behavior.  demonstrated  traits  reinforces  1979)  intelligent  predictors  objective  arousal  distractibility.  setting  Type A  introversion  nonsignificant distractibility  is less  to d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y .  related  1987)  essence, a d i s t r a c t i b l e person  who  in d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y ,  .66  Nevertheless, s i g n i f i c a n t  extraversion,  personality  1971),  (Houston & K e l l y ,  encouraging  as  (Eysenck,  (Zuckerman,  In  and  correlations  extraversion,  that  one  were not  reports  Nonsignificant  on  as  EPI  both p e r s o n a l i t y  distractibility.  trait  the  (1977).  that  Obsessive-Compulsive  and  Scale  test  demonstrate  results  for  Inventory  Seeking  characterized  The state  .83  or  the and  arousal arousing between  some o f  the  such r e l a t i o n s h i p  was  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 79  Subjective The  results  Impress i o n s  that  people  are  unable  are.  Nevertheless,  distractible. are  not  it  be  variables easily  interesting characterize  the  Stimulus  you  will  analysis. Obsessive  recall,  to As  can  on  this  do  who  of  how  be  seen  i n the  individual  difference  that  are  the  were  and  their  extraversion  and  believe of  this  Type A  correlated  neuroticism,  As  conclude  and with that  Type A  behavior  have a t e n d e n c y t o a l s o  perceive  performance sensation  necessarily  in  a  real  life.  s e e k i n g have no  bearing  distractibility. Insert  have  3.  on  face-valid  results  can  is  items  i n Chapter  d i s t r a c t i b l e e v e n t h o u g h t h i s i s not of  she  performed  the  neuroticism,  positively  to  or  individuals  T h e r e f o r e we  predisposed  he  i s a c o l l e c t i o n of  table,  are  decrement,  feels  contains  they  performance  distractible 10  that  distractibility  this correlations  inventory  Compulsiveness  self-perceived  We  which  that  d i s t r a c t i b l e they  intelligence variables  Table  are  reflection  Intelligence,  see  distractibility. who  t h e m s e l v e s as  feelings  i n d e x e s of  someone  Compulsiveness  Obsessive  true  and  be.  self-reported  and  to  To  assess  individuals  how  3 indicated  S e l e c t i v i t y Inventory described  that  themselves  subjective  objective  personality  i n Chapter  some p e o p l e c l e a r l y b e l i e v e  distractible.  between  items  to  reported  Distractibility  s u b j e c t i v e l y assess  Although  related  may  to  we  of  already  Table  seen,  10 however,  that  perceived  Table  Stimulus  Selectivity Pearson  10  I n v e n t o r y and  Personality  Correlations St i m u l u s Selectivity Inventory (Item composite)  Type A  .32  ***  .32  ***  Neuroticism  .49  ***  Extraversion  -.04  Sensation  -.01  Obsessive  Compulsive  Seeking*  Wonderlic  -.09  Spelling  .04  Quick-Test  -.04  ***  p<.001  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in  Distractibility 80  distractibility distinct  as  this  contrasts  characterized  and  as  obsessive/compulsive  independent  of  likely  the  w i t h the  to  task who  are  p r o f i l e of  assessment  of  state  of  with  perceive  A  as  behavioral  individuals  well  as  being  means t h a t  who  may  be  Type  A  Type A  and  themselves to  be,  individuals  t h e i r own  two  characterized  Type  both perceive  contrasted  actual  be  and  i n t e l l i g e n t as  individuals  whose  our  individuals  in nature. This  d i s t r a c t i b l e , as  intelligence  are  on  Such d i s t r a c t i b l e i n d i v i d u a l s  less  obsessive/compulsive  are,  while  obsessive/compulsive  actually distractible.  best  and  Thus  distractible  neurotic,  tendencies, are  measured d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y  phenomenon.  themselves having  and  varying  in  distractibility  is  affairs.  Conclus ions This  thesis  associated  with  were o b t a i n e d to  make  has  e x a m i n e d a number of  distractibility.  f r o m the  valid  previous  predictions  The  set  of  about the  individual  following  differences  findings  which  subexperiments, allows  us  t y p e of  is  i n d i v i d u a l who  d istractible: 1. ) form  The  d i s t r a c t i o n t e s t developed  of  distractibility.  specifically are 2. )  assessed  independent  of  the  the  Self-report  By  an  utilizing  inability  targeted  is  here, t e s t s  to  f o r an  extrinsic  s u c h a t e s t , we  screen  out  stimuli  have that  task.  inadequate  measure  of  predicting  distractibility. 3. )  Although arousal  component  of  the  predicts  distraction  o v e r a l l performance test,  it  is  not  on  the  search  useful  as  a  Predicting  Individual  Differences  in Distractibility 81  predictor  of  performance  decrement  under  conditions  of  distraction. 4. ) of  Distractibility Type  display  i s predicted  by t h e p e r s o n a l i t y  A and O b s e s s i v e / C o m p u l s i v e n e s s . these  behavioral  distractible,  and  to  patterns  also  Those are  perceive  dimensions  individuals  more  apt  themselves  to  as  who be  being  distractible. 5. )  Individuals  who a r e h i g h  distractibility. variable,  is  In  the  best  i n i n t e l l i g e n c e tend  addition,  intelligence,  overall predictor  t o be low i n as  a  single  of s u s c e p t i b i l i t y t o  distraction.  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On the right side of the page (separated by a dotted line) you w i l l f i n d a s i m i l a r set of combinations ( i n a d i f f e r e n t order). Your task i s to f i n d the group which i s i d e n t i c a l to the underlined " t a r g e t " combination and to simply run a l i n e through it. The following examples have been marked c o r r e c t l y i n the Answer column . Note that the combination marked must be e x a c t l y the same as the one that i s u n d e r l i n e d i n the t e s t item.  1)  ABD  ACD  ADB  AEB  AFB  AFB  AEB  ^6  ACD  ADB  2)  BaA  BaB  BAB  BaB  BbA  BaB  B^A  BAB  BaB  BaA  3)  A7B  7AB B7A  7BA  AB7  ^EfA A7B AB7  7AB  B7A  Try these two  examples f o r p r a c t i c e  4)  BAa  BaA  BbA  bBA  BbB  5)  3AA  3B3  33A  B33  BB3  ,  BaA  DBA  BAa  BbB  BbA  B33  3AA  33A  BB3  3B3  If you f i n i s h the items i n Test A before time i s c a l l e d , check your work. Do not turn to Test B or C u n t i l you are t o l d to do so. Remember that we are i n t e r e s t e d i n how q u i c k l y you can do t h i s task, so work as f a s t as you can. You  w i l l have 3 minutes f o r each p a r t of t h i s DO NOT  TURN THE  PAGE UNTIL YOU  ARE  TOLD TO  test. DO  SO.  Test  A  1)  dd4 d4b  4bd 4b4 ddb  d4b dd4  4bd ddb  4b4  2)  6v6 v44  44v 6v4 v46  6v4 v44  44v v46  6v6  3)  L3x  3Lx XL 3 X3L  3xL  3xL 3Lx L3x xL3 x3L  4)  312  z l 3 z31 13z 3 z l  z l 3 13z 31z z31 3 z l  5)  bfm  fbm mbf  frab  fmb mbf  bfm mfb  6)  L3x  3Lx xL3 x3L 3xL  3xL L3x  3Lx xL3 x3L  7)  Aj8 jA8 J8A 8jA AjA  AjA J8A 8jA jA8 Aj8  8)  Y59  59Y  9)  59Y  95Y  mfb  5Y9 Y95  fbm  95Y Y95  5Y9 Y59  lek e l k k e l kle e k l  elk ekl kle  lek k e l  10)  cnA Acn CAn ncA Arte  Anc cnA cAn Acn ncA  11)  mux  12)  emi mei  13)  h35  14)  d l b b i d lbd ldd ldb  ldb lbd d l b b i d l d d  15)  e k l Ike k e l lek kle  l e k k e l e k l k l e Ike  16)  69b  6b9 9b6 b6b b96  69b b6b  6b9 b96  9b6  17)  XXU  UXS  XXU  USX  XSU UXS  XUS  18)  zfr  rzf rfz fzr  frz  fzr frz zfr rzf rfz  19)  U4X  X40 UX4  X4X  D4X  20)  smn  ssm msn mum  rims  runs smn  21)  17T  7IT TI7 1T7 7TI  22)  441  114  140  411  23)  vzf  vff  zff  24)  SRD  DsR  SRD  mxu  53h  xmu  uxra XUffl  iem eim iroe 5h3 3h5  USX  35h  XSU .XUS  uxm  xum  emi mei h35  mux  mxu  xmu  ime iem eim  5h3 3h5  53h  35h  X4X  XU4  mmn  msn  TI7 7IT 17T  1T7  7TI  401  441  401  140  114  411  zvf  f vz  v f f vzf  zvf  zff  f vz  DRs  DSS  RsD  SRD  DSR  Dss  XU4  X4U UX4  DRs  ssm  101  25)  Rrr Rsr rqR ssr  rrR Rsr rqR s s r  26)  zxz  Xzx  ZXZ zxX XZz ZXZ  27)  rarA mAr  mrr rmA  rarA rmA Arm mrr  28)  338  29)  L96 L69 6L9 69L  L69 9L6 1.96 69L  30)  mrf rmf fmr f rm  mrf rmf fmr rfm  31)  4XU 4UX Uxx U4X  X4X U4X  32)  urns ussn suu smu  usm smu urns suu  33)  CPV PCV PVC VPC  PCV CPV VCP PVC  34)  RDB  35)  XXP XPU PPX PXU  XPU XXP PPX PXU  36)  HMM  SHH SMM  37)  auu UuA AUU UUA  38)  D8R R8D  39)  POC PCO OCP OPC  POC OCP PCC OPC  40)  PBD PDB  DBP BPD  DPB BPD PBD DBP  41)  SYX SXY XYX XYS  XYS SXY SYX XYX  42)  PVC PCV VCP VPC  VCP CPV PVC VPC  43)  POC CCO OOC OPO  PCO OOC  44)  S f S Ssf SFF sFf  sFf S f S Sfs Ssf  45)  GOQ  GOq PPG pgO  GOg OGp ppG pgO  46)  MNn  NNn  47)  POo OpP OPO Pop  POo Pop OpP OOq  48)  PCc CPc PPc CcP  PCC  49)  aA8 a8A 8A8 8aa  8aa 8A8 aA8 a8A  50)  S f s fSs SFs sFf  SFf fSs fSF SFS  ZXZ  A88  ZXX  88A 88j j j A  RBD BRD DRD  HSS SHH, SMM  8DR RD8  MMn  nunN  ...........  88j A88 j j A j j 8  4XU 4UX  RBD DBR BRD  DRD  HSS HMM  auu AUU aaU UuA R8D D8R  mmN  8DR RD8  POC OPO  NNn MMn  nNM  PPc CcP PCC  51)  Dsd sdO dsd  Dsd dsd qqs sdD  52)  CS6 C66 6Sc  c66 CS6 6Sc C66  53)  4cb lAb A l e  14b lAb 4cb A l C  54)  Z83 ZC3 Z38  Z38 C53 ZC3 ZC8  55)  a9d Ldb L9b  a9d dL9 9dL L9b  56)  L18 L81 L l l  L81 1L8 L l l  57)  chc cho ohc  ohc och oho chc  58)  rzf rzr  zrf  rzf rzr zrf fzr  59)  Arv Avr v r A  Avr rAz Arv rvA  60)  qpp pgg qgq  qpp pgg qgq qgp  61)  Anm mAn mnA  Anm Amn mAn nmA  62)  Uau Uua AUu  Oaa uua AUu Uua  63)  WNW wWN WWN  WNw nWN WWN wNN  64)  4HM 4MH MH4  4MH MH4 HM4 HMH  65)  Bbd BdB DbD  DBB Bbd DdD DbD  66)  Z83 833 Z38  833 Z38 83Z 383  67)  qgj qjg  iaa  gqj qjg qgj jqp  68)  tqf f t q f q t  fqt f t q qtf tqf q f t  69)  mrA rmA Amr  mrA Amr rmA Arm  70)  ddb bbd Ibb  lbb ddb bbd dbb  71)  188 818 81A  818 81A 88A 188  72)  XOU 00X UOX  OOx OOX XOU XXU  73)  Z85 C88 8C5  8Z5 8C5 C88 Z58  74)  XL 9 09X U5L  X9L U5L UL5 XL9  75)  7L7 717 1L7  1L7 171 7L7 717  76)  RDB RBD BRD  DRB RDB RBD BRD  81L  103  77)  18L 81L L18 L81  81L L18 18L 811  78)  Uuw Wwu  uwU  Wwu wWu  UWD  79)  NNn NMn MMn Nmm  MnN Nmm  NNn MMn  80)  d96 c69 69d 96d  69d c69 96c 96d  81)  A4c 1AC IcA 14b  IcA A4c 2bc l A c  82)  HMH HSM SHH SMM  HMH SMM MHS HSM  83)  RRS DRD RDR DDS  DRD DDS RDR RRS  84)  CW  WC  85)  6RD 6DR RD6 R6D  D6R 6DR R6D RD6  86)  CKJ KJC JJC KKC  CJK JJC KJC KKC  87)  2h4 h42 42h 4h4  42h 2h4 4h4 h24  88)  YSX UYX OXY XYU  UXY SXY UYX XYU  89)  m3Z 3Zm 3zm 3m z  Z3m 3Zm 3mz m3Z  90)  rwo r r o rwr owr  rwo rwr owr r r o  91)  aro rao roa o r a  aro ora oar roa  92)  mim eim emm  imm  imm mim mem eim  93)  Til  ITT 11T TTt  ITT 11T TTt T T l  94)  ZXz ZXZ Zzx XXz  ZXz zXz XZz XXz  95)  7Tt LTt t T t T i t  L t t T i t t T t 7Tt  96)  MSs Mss sSs sms  sSs sms SMs MSS  97)  GOg OOg ppg  E2SL  OOg OGg pgg ppg  98)  wvu uvu uwv wwu  vwu wwu uvu uwv  99)  tht h f t  fht  f f t hft tht fht  100)  ann man amn anm  aara anm man ann  WC  wWu  VCC y z c  fft  STOP HERE —  WAIT FOR FURTHER  INSTRUCTIONS  Uuw  VCC CCC VZC  104  Test B 1)  nvx nxv j L x n v  2)  b i d d l b ldb l b d b d l  bid bdl lbd  3)  aru auc ura rau rua  aur rua rau  i i  vxn xvn  4)  vwu wvu  5)  uwro wura wmu mwu  6)  679 769 967 697 976  7)  nra rna anr arn nar  8)  uvw vwv umw  j ^ ^ p mza amz azm maz  9)  NAV AVN ANV  10)  COQ OCQ OQC CQO  11)  SCO UUS UCS  12)  N4H H4N 4NH BN4  4HN  13)  pRr pRP rpR PPr  ^  14)  8Aa  15)  tLT  16)  VAV  aA8 A8a a8A 8aA lTt U T  a4d  18)  5X7  19)  A97  20)  520  21)  oar  22)  clc  23)  31s  QOC  X  Tit l t t  aVv Vav a W  17)  24)  VNA  vAA  43c 34a 34c 5V9 7V5 5X9  A7b A79 A9b Ab7 250  025^^052  rao roa o r a roo  clo olc o c l lco 3sl 13s s31 cma acm c c a mca ante  nvx xvn vxn nxv xnv  105  wvx dun  dnu  wxv und  xvw swv udn  lfk k f l lkf gpq  gpq  qpg  qu2  u2q  J||  441  fell  vwx  ndu  fkl klf gqp pqg 2uq q2u  2qu  410  140 411  114  rne ern  enr nre  rnr  lbd Ibb l i d Idd  Idb  BRD  DRB  RDB RBD  BDR  WMV  VWM MVW  MWV  DBO  BDD  BDO OBD  ODB  BPR  RBP  PRB PBR  BRP  bDb  bDd  bBd bDD  dBd  FFe eFF  EEe EFe  EEf  ezE eZz  EZz eZE  EZe  NZN  NZz  NzZ Nzn  NZn  97b  79b  79c 97c  79e  2d7  7d2  VMW  7c2  2b7  7b2|  Sns  3sS Sns  052  3nS ^  Sn3  025  205 250  520  eca  aec.  cae  ace  eac  h24  42h  h42  4h2 4h4  ova  avo  ova vao  ava  rfa afr f r a f r f arf craa arac  cmc  cor roc rco ocr  ore  mca  acm  106  hoc hco och ohc cho  cho hoc hco och ohc  ers ser rse sre esr  rse sre esr e r s aur ura rau rua  ura aur rau aru rua  gpg gqp qpg  pqg |HSqgp gpg gqp  ann anm P93  anm  asn an® tuna ann pgj  199 9P3  ept tpe pte  ^  arn nra anr rna r r n  ldb lbd .  ldb b i d l b b l d d l b d  81a 18a la8  a81 81a 18a I ^ » a l 8  ZHN ZNH  NHZ  BHZ ZNH NZH  NHZ  BRB RBB  BRP  BRP BBR RBB BRB  BRR  UCC USC SCC PRB BRP  CUU^j^jUCC SCC USC  BBP  BBP RPB A  CJC CKC CJK 11T T t l SXs  \im g j p jpg  e p t ete pte etp t p e  rna anr r r n arn . bid  gpj i g p  BRP  PRB  CJK CJC CKJ CKC TTl  Til  sXs sxS xXs SXS ..  1T1 11T T t l T T l  sxS SXs sXs sXS xXs  l T t L t T 1T1 L t t ...  l T t L t t 1T1 L t T LTt  NzZ Nzn ZNz  NZn NzZ Nzn ZNz Zzn GQq Qgq QGq Gqg Gqq  41c 14d 41d S38 C83 C53 A97  41d 14d 41a 14c 41c S83  S38 C53 C38 C83  79b 9b7 1 I b79 . .  97b A97 b79 9b7 79b  817 718 781 178  187 817 781 718 178  dbd bd4 4bd  db4 d b d ^ ^ 4 b d  64u 46u 464  bd4  u46 64u 464 u64  107  3x7  37x 73x x73 ls3  13s 31s  r»dn ede enn nif  n f i nfn  3 5h h35 3h5 bdl i f k lkf d69  6d9  kfl klf  fkl  • .^§\>  kifkfl  .SS)  9d6 d96 96d  ldb bid  d69 96d 6d9 d96  VXX VXZ VZX ZVX XVZ 8aj 3 j a  VXX VZX 2VX  _A«hsjL J 8ja a 8 j  ja8  86]  a j 8 a8j  87]  796  769  767 969 797 ^  88]  enr  rne  ren e r n nre  89]  v4X  4Vv  4Vx  90!  zvn  9i!  RB8 R8B 8BR RBB  92]  COQ CQO  QCO QOC OCQ  93]  ODB OBD BDO  DOB BOD  94]  ZYX ZXY XYZ YZX YXZ  95]  coo  8a  ...  767 769 797  ^jfjP^S  .  ern  V4x X4v . . t 5 l l ^  nvz n z v  Ifk  4  znv v z n  e  n  V  r  (^^) x  r  n  e  X 4 v V 4 x  v z n nvz znv  .. ft  8RB R8B  RB8  CQO COQ  QCO  OBD BOD • • .  DOB  ODB  YXZ YZX ZXY U  oco uco uoc  OCU UCO OCO  96]  OCc OOc  97;  8Aa aA8 8aA a8A  98;  zZe Zze  ZEe zEe zeZ  99;  pBP bPb  pbP bpp bbB  .  bbB  100)  C z z CZZ Zee zCC c z z .  zCC  cOO  COO  OOc Occ cOO 8aA  STOP HERE -- WAIT FOR FURTHER  a8A  8aA  \ pb?  DBP  c z z CZZ  INSTRUCTIONS  108  Test C 1)  VYZ XVY VXY ZXY  VYZ VZY ZXY VXY  2)  b9c c69 69c 96b  69c 6cb 96b b9c  3)  aou uoa oua auo  oua aou auo uao  4)  lcc clo ole ocl  lco c l o lcc o c l  5)  X79 V97 V59 X95  V97 X95 V79 V59  6)  Sc8 c8c 8sc cS8  cS8 Sc8 8sc c8S  7)  otb bto obt tbo  tbo o t b obt bot  8)  5ed 3de 4de 2ed  2ed 3de 5sd 4de  9)  red ede cdr rdc  crd red rdc c^r  10)  wst swt stw vtw  wst swt wts vtw  11)  uwm wum umu uwu  umw uwm umu wum  12)  qpp pqq  ppg  pqq ppq qpp ppg  13)  xnv vnx nxn nvx  vnx nxn xnv nvx  14)  unu unm umn mnu  umn unm mnu nmu  15)  mzn mzz nzm nnz  mzn mnz mzz nnz  16)  Ypg ypg pyg  pyg gyp ypg ygp  17)  Y59 59Y 5Y9 Y95  5Y9 Y95 Y59 59Y  .18)  onu oun nou uno  oun uno uon onu  19)  udn und ndu dnu  dun udn dnu und  20)  414 441 144 114  414 114 404 144  21)  Rrp RPp pRr Ppr  pRr RPp Rrp Ppr  22)  TLT ITL ILT TLI  LTI TLI TLT ILT  23)  VMW VMV VWM WVM  VWM VMW WMV VMV  24)  WUu Wuu UWW WWU  UWW WWU Wuu WUU  EES  109  25)  c3x 3xc xc3 cx3  3cx xc3 cx3 c3x  26)  AVN VNA NNV NNA  NVA VNA NNV NNA  27)  yxx XXY YyX XyX  YXX YyX XXY XyX  28)  ELF FLE LFE LFL  ELF FLE LFL ELE  29)  MNV NMV VNM MVN  MVN NMV MNV VNM  30)  EEf E f f eFF FeF  eFF FeF FFe EEf  31)  CS8 C8S C8C 8SC  CSC C8S S5C 8SC  32)  hh6 6h8 h86 68h  68h hh6 h86 6h8  33)  34d 43c 34a 34c  34d 43a 34c 43c  34)  4Z4 4Z1 414 412  41Z 14Z 414 4Z1  35)  QQo Qqo QOQ Qoq  oQQ QQo QOQ Qoq  36)  exc. cex ecx xce  cxe ecx cex exc  37)  aro rao r o a or a  oar aro roa o r a  38)  8c6 8a7 87a 86c  87c 86c 8a 7 8c 6  39)  use ues seu sue  ues sue eus use  40)  rwp wro wrw owr  owr wrw rwo rwr  41)  MUZ VUW vwu wvu  uwv wur wvu vwu  42)  ier e r i e i r  43)  312 231 321 132  321 312 213 231  ,44)  q2u 2gui qu2 uq2  2qu q2u u2q uq2  45)  XYW vxw vwx wxv  vxw svw wvx wxv  46)  aet e t a eae tae  ate tae e t a eae  47)  SVI SIV SVI VSI  IVS SVI SIV VSI  48)  eth het ete teh  eth het eht ete  49)  mza are z zraa azm  raaz mza amz zma  50)  asx sax axs xsa  asx sax axs xsa  rie  eir  ier  ire rie  51)  VAv W a VaV W a  AAV W a VaV W a  52)  Wmw WWM WMw MMw  WMw mWM wWM MMw  53)  N4H H4N 4NH KN4  H4N 4NH HN4 4HN  5.4)  dDd bDb dBd bBd  bDD dDd bBd dBd  55)  3S8 S83 8S3 S38  S83 8S3 83S S38  56)  0X0 OOX OXX OVX  OOX OXX OX0 XXO  57)  CS8 SC8 S8C 8SC  8SC S8C SC8 S5C  58)  5X7 5V9 7V5 7X9  7X9 7V5 5V7 5X7  59)  7L7 1L1 717 71L  717 71L 7L7 1L1  60)  RBD RDB DRB BRD  BRD RBD RDB DRB  61)  181 818 718 781  818 718 181 178  62)  wVv vWw WW ywV  vWw Wvv vwV WW  63)  nMin mMN mNN Mnn  nmM Mnn nMm mNN  64)  b96 c69 69c 969  69c c69 96c 969  65)  14c l a c l e a 14d  l e a 14c 12d l a c  66)  2h4 h42 42h  42h 2h4 24h 224  67)  XYZ XVY VXY XYV  VXY ZXY XVY XYV  68)  Sn3 sn3 3sn ns3  3ns Sn3 ns3 sn3  69)  rwo wro orw  rwo orw owr wro  70)  aro rao roa o r a  aro o r a oar roa  71)  fni  72)  vwu wvu wvw vwv  uwv vwv wvu wvw  73)  the net eth eht  eth het the eht  74)  amra mna anm aran  nan amn mna amm  75)  3x7 37x 73x x37  3x7 37x 73x x37  76)  j8a a8j 8aj 8ja  8aj 8ja a8j j8a  fif  ifn inf nfi  inf fni n f i  fif  77)  59Y 9Y5  5Y9 95Y Y95 59Y  78)  fkl lkf  klf lfk  79)  cm a acm  cma mca acm amc  80)  xnv vnx  xvn xnv vnx vxn  81)  rse s r s  ers rse s r s sre  32)  V4X 4VX  4VX 4VX VX4 XV 4  83)  mzn nzz  mzn nzz znn mnz  84)  ILT ITL  ITL ILT TLI TIL  85)  410 441  401 140 411 441  86)  use ues  use esu seu eus  87)  PRB PBR  RPB PRB BPR RBP  88)  Rrp RPp  Prr RPp pRr PPr  89)  SXX sXX  SXx SXX SXS SXX  90)  n r a nar  nra arn arn anr  91)  OUU OCU  OUU OCU COU OUC  92)  RBD RDB  RDB BDR DRB BRD  93)  OXX XXO  XXO OXX XOO OXV  94)  HNZ NHZ  SHN HZN NBZ HNZ  95)  VAV Vva  VAV VaV VAA Vva  96)  COQ CQO  OCQ QCO COQ QOC  97)  ZeE ZzE  98)  GQq GQg  GQq QGg Qqq Qqg  99)  nMm mm  Mnn nMH mm  100)  30°  qQo Qoq qQq oQQ  qQq STOP HERE ~  <  fkl kfl  ZEZ eZz ZeE ZzE  WAIT FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS  nmM  112  Appendix  The  Stimulus  B  Selectivity  Inventory  Name or Student Id STIMULUS SELECTIVITY INVENTORY Instructions This questionnaire deals with a number of common perceptually related situations. For each question you should select the response which best describes you and your behaviours. You can select from among the following response alternatives}  Never (or almost never) Seldom Occasionally Frequently Always (or almost always) A l l that you need to do i s to c i r c l e the f i r s t letter which corresponds to your choice. Thus i f the question were (X) Do you feel tired when you get up in the morning?  H8 0 F A  and you are frequently t i r e d , you would simply indicate i t by c i r c l i n g the letter F. To help you keep the responses in mind they'are l i s t e d on the top of each page.  TURN TO THE NEXT PAGE AND BEGIN  114  ANSWER CODE« For each question c i r c l e the l e t t e r which corresponds to the f i r s t letter of your choice from Never Seldom Occasionally Frequently Always 1) It i s easy for me to keep sights and sounds froa interfering with ay thoughts. N 8 0 F A 2) I find i t d i f f i c u l t 3) Uneven read.  shadows  to concentrate while a faucet is dripping. H 8 0 F A  on  4) I get confused game or c i r c u s same t i n e .  the  page  of  a book sake i t d i f f i c u l t to N 3 0 F A  trying to watch a c t i v i t i e s such as a football where a number of things are happening at the R S 0 F A  5) Noise from flourescent l i g h t s impairs my a b i l i t y to read. N S 0 F A 6) The sound of concentrate.  intermittent  traffic,  disrupts  ay  a b i l i t y to N S 0 F A  7) When in a car at night, I am often bothered by the oncoming headlights of other cars. N S 0 F A 8) I find that r e f l e c t i o n s of nearby leaps or l i g h t s on the face of a TV screen Which I aa watching to be very d i s t r a c t i n g . N S 0 F A 9) I aa a c a l a person.  R S 0 F A  10) X aa e a s i l y d i s t r a c t e d by conversations going on around a«. R S 0 F A 11) Z get flustered- i f I have several things to do at once. H S 0 F A 12) I aa good at rapidly scanning particular peron or face. 13) I find i t d i f f i c u l t people talking nearby. 14) Having time.  heard  a  sound,  to  study X  crowds  and  picking out a R S 0 F A  or l i s t e n to something with R S 0 F A  often lay awake at night for some R S 0 F A  15) F l i c k e r i n g or flashing l i g h t s seldom bother me.  N S 0 F A  16) I am strongly affected by sudden loud noises.  N S 0 F A  17) Sudden changes effect on me.  of  any  kind  produce an immediate emotional N S 0 F A  18) I am strongly affected by bright c o l o r s .  N S 0 F A 1  115  ANSWER CODEi For each question c i r c l e the letter which corresponds to the f i r s t letter of your choice froa Never Seldom Occasionally Frequently Always 19) When colors are faded or "off", on a color TV or f i l m , i t is annoying to me. R S 0 F A 20) Sometimes l i g h t s and sounds come at me so rapidly they confuse me. H S 0 F A 21) My attention i s e a s i l y captured by things around me. H 8 0 F A 22) It seldom bothers me i f the record which I am listening to is scratched. N S 0 F A 23) I get excited e a s i l y .  N S 0 F A  24) When looking through a car windshield or window, I find spots or d i r t d i s t r a c t i n g . N S 0 F A 25) I tend to remain excited or moved for a long period of time after seeing a good movie. N S 0 F A 26) The me.  quality  of  the lighting in rooms has a strong effect on N 8 0 F A  27) Few places are quiet enough to allow me to f u l l y concentrate on d i f f i c u l t problems. N S 0 F A 28) Internal or personal concentration.  thoughts  frequently  intrude on ay H 8 0 F A  29) - I .am good at picking a voice or instrument out of a piece of music that I am l i s t e n i n g t o . N S 0 F A 30) I require attention.  a  great deal of mental effort to maintain focused N S 0 F A  31) I easily lose track of time when working at something. N 8 0 F A i  32) Strong emotions carry over for one or two hours after I leave the situation which caused them. R S 0 F A 33) I get caught up in my thoughts and become oblivious to what is going on around me. N S 0 F A 34) I am restless and fidgety.  N S 0 F A  35) I s t a r t l e e a s i l y .  N 3 0 F A  36) I have no trouble reading or studying when thorp is noise or music around me. N S 0 F A 2  116  ANSWER CODEt For each question c i r c l e the letter which corresponds to the f i r s t letter of your choice froa Never Seldoa Occasionally Frequently Always 19) When colors are faded or "off", on a color TV or f i l a , i t is annoying to ae. R 8 0 F A 20) Soaetiaes lights and sounds coae at ae so rapidly they confuse ae. H 3 0 F A 21) My attention i s easily captured by things around ae. R 8 0 F A 22) It seldom bothers me i f the record which I aa listening to i s scratched. R 8 0 F A 23) I get excited e a s i l y .  R 8 0 F A  24) When looking through a car windshield or window, I find spots or d i r t d i s t r a c t i n g . N S 0 F A 25) X tend to remain excited or moved for a long period of tiae after seeing a good movie. R 3 0 F A 26) The me.  quality  of  the lighting in rooms has a strong effect on R 8 0 F A  27) Few places are quiet enough to allow ae to f u l l y concentrate on d i f f i c u l t problems. R 8 O F A 28) Internal or personal concentration.  thoughts  frequently  intrude on ay R 8 0 F A  29) X ,aa good at picking a voice or instruaent out of a piece of music that X aa listening t o . R 8 0 F A 30) I require attention.  a  great deal of aental effort to aaintain focused R 8 O F A  31) I easily lose track of tiae when working at something. N 8 0 F A 32) Strong emotions carry over for one or two hours after I leave the situation which caused them. R S 0 F A 33) . X get caught up in my thoughts and become oblivious to what i s going on around me. 34) I am restless and fidgety.  R S 0 F A N S 0 F A  35) I startle e a s i l y . N S 0 PA 36) I have no trouble reading or studying when thorp is noise or music around me. N S 0 F A 2  117  ANSWER CODE: For each question c i r c l e the letter which corresponds to the f i r s t letter of your choice froa Never Seldom Occasionally Frequently Always 37) It is easy for me to ignore a bussing insect while studying. N 8 0 F A 38) I find i t d i f f i c u l t to carry on a conversation when the TV or radio i s playing in the background. R S 0 F A 39) My mood i s quickly influenced by entering new places. R 8 0 F A 40) with so much going on around me, i t ' s d i f f i c u l t for me to think about anything for any length of time. H8 0 F A 41) When I read i t is easy to block out everything but the book. N S 0 F A 42) I find i t d i f f i c u l t to sleep i f there i s a l i g h t on. N S 0 F A 43) I switch back and forth from task to task.  N 8 0 F A  44) I find that my heart keeps beating fast for awhile after I have been ' s t i r r e d u p . R 8 0 F A 4  45) I can be emotionally moved by what other people consider to be simple things; H 8 0 F A 46) Are you e a s i l y frustrated?  R 8 0 F A  47) Scratches or dust on projected films and s l i d e s can often be d i s t r a c t i n g to me. H 8 0 F. A 48) It i s easy for me to keep my mind on a single sight or sound. R S 0 F A 49) I tend to find vision uncomfortable in bright sunshine. R S 0 F A '50) I frequently find my mind wondering from the task at hand. N 8 0 F A  3  Appendix  Thayer  Self-Report  C  of  Arousal  Name  ;  Sex  Age  instructions! Below you w i l l find a l i s t of words. Bach of the words describes feelings or mood. Please use the rating scale next to each word to describe, your feelings at this moment. You can select from among the following response a l t e r n a t i v e s ! Definitely f e e l at t h i s moment  circle D  Moderately f e e l at t h i s moment  circle M  S l i g h t l y f e e l at t h i s moment  circle S  Definitely do not f e e l at this moment  circle N  Example: If the item were relaxed  D M S  N  and you f e e l s l i g h t l y relaxed at this moment, you would c i r c l e S, i f you d e f i n i t e l y do not f e e l relaxed at this moment you would c i r c l e Hj. and so f o r t h . Work rapidly, but please mark a l l the words. Your f i r s t reaction i s best. This should take only a minute or two.  1)  active  0  II  8  N  I D drowsy  D M  8  N  2)  placid  D  M  8  N  12) f e a r f u l  D M  3  N  3)  sleepy  D M 8  N  13) l i v e l y  D M 8  N  4)  jittery  D M 8  N  14) s t i l l  D M S  N  5)  energetic  D  M S  N  15) wide-awake  D M S  N  6)  intense  D  M S  N  16) clutched-up  D M s  N  7)  calm  D  M S  N  17) quiet  D M s  N  8)  tired  D  M S  N  18) full-of-pep  D M S  N  9)  vigorous  D M  S  N  19) tense  D M s  N  M S  N  20) wakeful  D M s  N  10) at-rest  D  STOP HERE UNTIL INSTRUCTED TO GO ON  

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