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Snacking as distraction: What kinds of tasks make us eat?

Galetzka, A. (2015) Snacking as distraction: What kinds of tasks make us eat? Bachelor's Thesis, Artificial Intelligence.

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Everyone gets distracted at some point of the day, whether it's from external interruptions, such as a cellphone going off, or from internal- or self-interruptions, such as deciding to get a cup of tea. Because most research focuses on external interruptions, we still know relatively little about the causes behind self-interruptions, even though they make up 50% of interruptions in real life. With the current study, we investigated whether the difficulty of a task or the availability of cognitive resources influences the decision to self-interrupt. Two experiments were conducted, a visual task and a problem-solving task, with three difficulty levels for each task. Cognitive resources became either more or less available as the difficulty of each task changed. A bowl of M&M's on a digital scale served as the distractor. Results showed that there were different patterns of distraction in the two tasks. In the problem-solving task participants ate the most in the medium level, while there was no effect of difficulty in the visual task. These results are hard to interpret: the differences in effect of difficulty show that there does not seem to be a strong effect of cognitive resource availability. Possible explanations of these results will be discussed in my presentation.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Artificial Intelligence
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:02
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:02

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