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  • 1.
    Ljungberg, Jessica K.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Parmentier, Fabrice
    University of the Balearic Islands, Palma, Spain.
    The Impact of Intonation and Valence on Objective and Subjective Attention Capture by Auditory Alarms2012In: Human Factors, ISSN 0018-7208, E-ISSN 1547-8181, Vol. 54, no 5, p. 826-837Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective:

    The objective was to study the involuntary capture of attention by spoken words varying in intonation and valence.

    Background:

    In studies of verbal alarms, the propensity of alarms to capture attention has been primarily assessed with the use of subjective ratings of their perceived urgency. Past studies suggest that such ratings vary with the alarms’ spoken urgency and content.

    Method:

    We measured attention capture by spoken words varying in valence (negative vs. neutral) and intonation (urgently vs. nonurgently spoken) through subjective ratings and behavioral measures. The key behavioral measure was the response latency to visual stimuli in the presence of spoken words breaking away from the periodical repetition of a tone.

    Results:

    The results showed that all words captured attention relative to a baseline standard tone but that this effect was partly counteracted by a relative speeding of responses for urgently compared with nonurgently spoken words. Word valence did not affect behavioral performance. Rating data showed that both intonation and valence increased significantly perceived urgency and attention grabbing without any interaction.

    Conclusion:

    The data suggest a congruency between subjective ratings and behavioral performance with respect to spoken intonation but not valence.

    Application:

    This study demonstrates the usefulness and feasibility of objective measures of attention capture to help design efficient alarm systems.

  • 2. Montgomery, Henry
    et al.
    Sharafi, Parvaneh
    Hedman, Leif R
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Engaging in activities involving information technology: dimensions, modes, and flow2004In: Human Factors, ISSN 0018-7208, E-ISSN 1547-8181, Vol. 46, no 2, p. 334-348Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An engagement mode involves a subject (e.g., a user of information technology, or IT) who is engaged in an activity with an object in a certain manner (the mode). The purpose of this study is to develop a general model of engagement modes that may be used for understanding how IT-related activities are shaped by properties of the user and the IT object. A questionnaire involving items on IT engagement and the experience of flow was administered to 300 participants. The results supported an engagement mode (EM) model involving 5 different engagement modes (enjoying/acceptance, ambition/curiosity, avoidance/hesitation, frustration/anxiety, and efficiency/productivity) characterized on 3 dimensions (evaluation of object, locus of control between subject and object, and intrinsic or extrinsic focus of motivation). The flow experience follows from a balance between enjoying/acceptance and efficiency/productivity propelled by ambition/curiosity. The EM model could provide a platform for considering how IT users, IT applications, and IT environments should work together to yield both enjoyment and efficiency. Actual or potential applications of this research include designing IT training programs on different levels of specificity.

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