Experiment 1 Paper

Submitted By chichilana
Words: 1230
Pages: 5


Does Task Switching and Task Repeat effect reaction time and error rates?
Brooklyn College - CUNY
Summer 2015

Increasing levels of stimuli in today’s society make multi-tasking a consistent reality. Task Switching (Monsell, 2003) proposes that reaction time will slow when people have top switch between different tasks. Performance is faster and accuracy is higher for task repeats than task switches. Task-switching cost is the term given to this occurrence. We used a simple task – switching experiment with results that were collected and analyzed via computer. Our results showed that showed that reaction times were significant white errors are not.

Does Task Switching and Task Repeat effect reaction time and error rates? Everyday my husband picks up our son from daycare, then he comes to get me and after that he drops me at school. We have had this set up since the 2015 spring semester started. We no longer have to check in with each other about who is going to do what and what time, this is just the routine. One day I asked my husband to come pick me up first because I wanted to speak to the day care provider. Before I knew it we were outside of Brooklyn College, without our son. We were so used to the routine that the disruption to the order messed us up.
In a 2003 paper, Stephen Monsell came to the conclusion that doing more than one task at a time takes a toll on productivity. . Although that shouldn't surprise anyone, the extent of the problem might come as a shock. Psychologists have found that the mind and brain were not designed for heavy-duty multitasking. Multitasking can take place when someone tries to perform two tasks simultaneously, switch from one task to another, or perform two or more tasks in rapid succession. To determine the costs of this kind of this, psychologists conduct task-switching experiments. By comparing how long it takes for people to get everything done, the psychologists can measure the cost in time for switching tasks. Although switch costs may be relatively small, sometimes just a few tenths of a second per switch, they can add up to large amounts when people switch repeatedly back and forth between tasks. This makes multitasking seem efficient on the surface but may actually take more time in the end and produce more errors. “Subjects' responses are substantially slower and, usually, more error-prone immediately after a task switch.” This ‘switch cost’ is reduced, but not eliminated, by an opportunity for preparation. Yet everyday life requires frequent shifts between cognitive tasks without prior preparation. In our experiment we gave the subjects two different tasks. On each trial the subject saw a number (1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9) and they had to judge whether the number is odd or even , or judge whether the number is smaller or larger than 5. We then measured their reaction time (RT) and accuracy on this task. Our hypothesis is that reaction times and error rates will be higher for task switching than task repeat.

Twenty men and women participated in the study. Participants were evening students at Brooklyn College and varied in their occupation but all lived with in the five boroughs of New York City.
Materials and Design/ Procedure Participants used computers in room 3106 of James Hall at Brooklyn College. The program that was used by the 21 participants the in the study was METACARD. There were 100 total trials; 50% being odd/even trials and the other 50% being magnitude trials. During the study 50% of the time the task switched across trials, and the other 50% the task repeated across trials. The orders of these trials were fully randomized and the eight possible stimuli were the numbers 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9. To respond to the tasks, participants were to use the keyboard. The response keys were: z=odd,