Article Title: Effect of Task Demand and Intrinsic Motivation on Human Vigilance Task Performance

Author(s): Anurag Upadhyay and Richa Singh

Institute(s): Department of Psychology, Vasanta College for Women (Krishanmurti Foundation of India), Uttar Pradesh, India.

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, 2013, Vol. 28, No. 2, 179-197

Correspondence Address: Richa Singh, Department of Psychology, Vasanta College for Women (Krishanmurti Foundation of India), Rajght Fort, Varanasi-221001, Uttar Pradesh, India. E-mail:


Maintaining alertness for prolong period of time is crucial for variety of tasks. However alertness tends to decline after certain interval of time. Several factors are responsible for this decrement in alertness. Among these factors the effect of task demand and intrinsic motivation has not been explored much. Thus, the present study examined the effects of intrinsic motivational state and task demand (in terms of event rate) on vigilance task performance. Target and non target were the square of size 3.5 cm and 3.3 cm, respectively. High and low event rate was used. Forty three undergraduate and post graduate volunteer students of Banaras Hindu University in the age range of 18 to 23 years were randomly selected for the experiment. The participant’s task was to make a speeded decision about the presence or absence of the target by pressing the response key. A 2 (low and high event rate) x 2 (pre and post level of intrinsic motivation) x 4 (time period: 4 Blocks of 10 minutes each) mixed factorial design with repeated measure on the last two factors was used. Results revealed that participants employed in low task load condition (low event rate) showed better vigilance performance than participants on high cognitive load condition. Since high cognitive demand produces great task induced stress performance declined in high task load condition. Results further indicated that motivational dimension of state variables significantly got reduced after performing on vigilance task.

Keywords: Vigilance, task demand, intrinsic motivation, event rate

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