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Eye-Movement and Mental Attention as They Relate to Self-Ratings of Task Involvement, Sleepiness and Strategy

Student: Ksenia Efimova

Supervisor: Marie Arsalidou

Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences

Educational Programme: Psychology (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2020

I studied the relation between eye-movements, self-rated level of sleepiness, the used strategy, and mental attentional capacity measured by the Color Matching Task (CMT). My goal was to find out if sleepiness and task involvement affect task performance in a mental attentional capacity task. I defined task performance as reaction time, error rate, and mental workload measured by eye-tracking metrics. For this goal 54 adult subjects participated in the experiment. I predict that sleepiness and lack of task involvement will decrease performance while visual strategy will increase it. I also expect that task performance will become worse with increasing task difficulty. Keywords: mental attentional capacity, visuospatial working memory, situational factors, sleepiness, strategy, task involvement, eye-tracking, color-matching task. This study is highly relevant because the requirements for our attentional capacity have increased significantly in the modern workplace for many professions. I suggest that situational factors, which are in the focus of this study play a crucial role in work efficiency nowadays. There are two reasons for this. The first one is that our environment rapidly becomes more complex, fast-moving, and challenging for our brains, which have the same limitations as that of our ancestors centuries ago. The second reason is that we cannot easily change our brain limitations or abilities but we can control and manipulate our milieu. Therefore if we know how situational factors affect the effectiveness of our performance, we can make changes in the external circumstances to assist our brain in handling the growing complexity and number of important details in the environment. In this study, I plan to investigate the relations between situational factors (sleepiness, task-involvement, and task execution strategy) and task performance indicators (reaction time, error rate, mental workload).

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