Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Psychology
Dawn M. McBride
The current literature suggests that subjective time duration could be the common currency used for task choice. However, few studies have been conducted that use non-physical tasks for their task choice options. Thus, the purpose of the current study was to examine if subjective time duration is the common currency for task choice regardless of task type. Participants first provided their subjective time estimates for each of the perceptual-motor and cognitive tasks that have been a priori determined to be at the medium difficulty level. Two cognitive tasks (item generation and math problem task) and one perceptual-motor task with a cognitive aspect (number sorting task) with varying levels of task difficulty (low, medium, high) were administered. Participants were presented with 27 task pairings and asked to choose which of the two tasks they wanted to complete and then presented with their chosen task. Once all tasks were completed, participants answered questions about strategies they used to make their choices. Participants’ subjective time estimates were not a predictor of task choices among these cognitive tasks. However, participants preferred the number sorting task to the other tasks at the medium and high difficulty levels of the other tasks. The objective time ratios were a better predictor of participants task choice. Future research should investigate difficulty level and other possible factors that influence task choice because subjective time estimates were not shown to be predictive of task choices in the current study.
Isaacs, Raina Ashley, "Does Subjective Time Cost Explain Cognitive Task Choices?" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 1376.