Benefits of distraction

Johannes von Gehlen1, Pierre Sachse1
1Department of Psychology, Innsbruck University, Austria
Cite this article:  von Gehlen, J., & Sachse, P. (2015). Benefits of distraction. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 43(4), 601-612.

Volume 43 Issue 4 | e4407 | Published: May 2015 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2015.43.4.601

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A considerable amount of research has been carried out with the aim of understanding the relationship between arousal and performance, but so far this topic has rarely been examined in the context of personality. In this study, we used a 2-group design (N = 76) to investigate the effects of arousal, induced by cognitive activation, on introverts and extroverts in the context of follow-up tasks. Arousal was induced by an irrelevant auditory stimulus that implemented a high cognitive load while participants were attempting to remember the content of the text of an article. Extroverts showed a greater improvement in performance than did introverts in a consecutive task, a d2-Test of Attention, leading to the conclusion that extroverts benefit more from cognitive activation through external stimuli than do introverts. Theoretical implications are discussed in the framework of the Yerkes–Dodson law.

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