Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Giving computers the jitters helps explain human behavior

29.09.2004


Penn State researchers have developed a computer program that mimics the results when a human appraises a task as threatening and feels worried before starting.



Dr. Frank Ritter, associate professor in the School of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), says, "In this study, we used our program to mimic the results achieved by people who can be seen as having a type of math anxiety. However, the program could also be used to study the effects of feeling threatened or worried before driving a car, using a computer or other stressful task -- and to help develop remedial strategies."

The results were described in a paper, "Using Cognitive Modeling To Study Behavior Moderators: Pre-Task Appraisal and Anxiety," presented this month at the 48th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society in New Orleans. The authors are Ritter, Andrew Reifers, an IST doctoral student; Laura C. Klein, assistant professor of biobehavioral health, College of Health and Human Development; Karen Quigley, New Jersey Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; and Mike Schoelles, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


Ritter explains that, in general, when people appraise a task as threatening, they have greater difficulty processing information. On the other hand, people who appraise a task as challenging perceive themselves as having more than enough resources to perform the task, don’t respond with stress and perform well on the task.

For their study, the Penn State researchers developed a computer program that simulated how people who felt threatened would respond when asked to perform a serial subtraction problem (i.e., start with a four-digit number such as 2,522 and repeatedly subtract from it a specific one or two-digit number such as 7 or 13). The handicapped program matched fairly well the published data on humans threatened by the task: performance accuracy remained the same but performance speed decreased about 25 percent.

"The correspondence suggests that the modifications we made to the program to simulate feeling threatened and worried provides a plausible explanation for the decreased performance in people on this task," Ritter explains.

He adds that the results also suggest two ways to help individuals to switch their pre-task appraisal from threatening to challenging. First, they could increase their knowledge through instruction and practice. Second, they could continuously check their results to bolster their confidence while they work. The study was supported by a grant from the Office of Naval Research.

Barbara Hale | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.psu.edu

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Controlling robots with brainwaves and hand gestures
20.06.2018 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSAIL

nachricht Innovative autonomous system for identifying schools of fish
20.06.2018 | IMDEA Networks Institute

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>