Computer-based distraction test developed

Jul 03, 2007

A British psychologist has designed a computer-based scientific indicator to measure a person's distractibility.

University College London Professor Nilli Lavie said the assessment tool would be useful in new employee screening, especially for vocations in which employee distraction could lead to fatal errors. More easily distracted individuals are at greater risk of being involved in accidents.

The new computer-based test measures subjects' accuracy and reaction times exposed to distractions.

"This test could act as another form of psychometric testing for employers who want to know how focused the staff they are hiring are likely to be," Lavie said.

This test correlates with responses given to the "Cognitive Failures Questionnaire," which predicts a person's level of distractibility provided the subject answers honestly.

"People come away from our test thinking they've done really well and haven't been distracted at all when, in fact, their response times increase and they tend to make more mistakes; showing that they have been distracted," said Lavie. "So the test is objective and there's no way of doctoring the results."

The research appears in the journal Psychological Science.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Fruit and vegetable consumption could be as good for your mental as your physical health

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

75 years after his death, Vienna struggles with Freud

4 hours ago

Even before Sigmund Freud fled Hitler on the Orient Express from Vienna in June 1938, the father of psychoanalysis and his ideas about sex, dreams and cocaine divided opinion in the Austrian capital.

Classroom intervention helps shy kids learn

20 hours ago

A program that helps teachers modify their interactions with students based on an individual's temperament helps shy children to become more engaged in their class work, and in turn, improves their math and critical thinking ...

New blood test may help diagnose depression

22 hours ago

The World Health Organisation has determined that depressive disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide. The recurrent and chronic forms of depression account for the bulk of the problem.

User comments : 0