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.
Barbara Hale | EurekAlert!
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Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
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