Vigilance decrement is one area that psychologists have always worked hard on in order to provide the best methods to top it. In essence, there are several negative effects of vigilance decrement. The loss of concentration when doing something over a long period of time hinders the effective performance of a given task. As such, these problems may seem to be negligible, but in the real situation they have many adverse effects. Completely stopping vigilance decrement is to some extent impossible. This is because of the human nature to lose concentration when exposed to the same task for a long time. What is important, however, is designing mechanisms geared towards reducing this problem. This research seeks to reveal the best mechanisms that can be used to control the vigilance decrement. Throughout the experiments that were done, the best mechanisms to reduce the vigilance decrement were revealed. That is what this paper will be analyzing.
Vigilance refers to some kind of concentration which is sustained for a given period of time. By being vigilance, an individual has the ability to have some levels of concentration and attention in a specified period of time. In most cases, people tend to have difficulties to sustain their attention over a long time, even when the situations are undemanding. According to several resource theories, vigilance decrement is as a result of the exhaustive and repetitive nature the tasks take (Daniel, 2001). Drawing conclusions from these theories, it would be right therefore to deduce that breaks in between the tasks are likely to play a key role in stopping such a decrement. Of major importance to research is to find and determine the break activities that may prevent vigilance decrement to a large extent. Through the dot experiment in which different groups of people were exposed to different conditions, all of which were geared find the best solution to vigilante decrement. Hypothetically, the continuos group was expected to experience the vigilance decrement in the normal manner. The second hypothesis of the experiment is based on whether full rests prevent vigilance decrement.
The research experiment was geared towards discovering the best mechanism or method through which vigilance decrement can be stopped. As such, the vigilance performance was compared among some four groups. The four groups in the experiment included a non-switch group, a control group, a switch group and lastly, a digit-ignore group (Smith, 2007). All these groups performed different tasks in looking for the best mechanism to stop vigilante decrement. The results were essential in finding the best mechanism to be followed.
The control group was tasked with doing a vigilance task lasting for 40 minutes without any kind of interruption. Performing this experiment in this manner was important in that, because it was the control experiment, it would be easy to make conclusions from the other experiments in reference to the control experiment. In most cases, control experiments play the role of acting as the guiding reference to the other experiments (Ogilvie et al. 1994). This is what was expected in the real life conditions and since the decrement is always caused by some concentrations in the long run, it provided the perfect opportunity for better understanding of the results of the other experiments.
Meanwhile, the no-switch groups were presented with a further task after the vigil exercise that lasted for forty minutes. After the completion of the forty minutes, a digit was presented to them and they were asked whether the digit was the one they were shown prior to the vigil exercise. This was very different from what the switch group was exposed to. The switch-group, after about 20-30 ,minutes of the vigil test, were interrupted and asked to recall whether a digit was similar to the one they had been shown before the start of the vigil test.
The results of the experiments and the tasks yielded different results. Of importance to note is the fact that only the switch group was consistent by not experiencing the vigilance decrement like the other groups. The interpretation of the results is crucial in that through knowing the best mechanism of stopping vigilante decrement, the vigil performance will be enhanced, with the effect being yielding better results (Jerison et al, 1998).
In essence, the results of the experiment revealed the best method through which vigilante decrement can be stopped. For instance, only the switch group experienced no decrement in the performance of the vigil exercise. The switch group’s tasks, to a large extent, were employing the goal-habituation policy. The goal-habituation policy involves a sort of disengagement from the goals of a person in a specific task. During this experiment, the switch group was characterized by being interrupted at intervals of about 20 to 30 minutes after the vigil exercise. This may lead to the conclusion that the goal-habituation policy is the best mechanism of preventing vigil decrement. Disengagement from the task of an individual followed by subsequent re-engagement, therefore, eliminates to a large extent, vigilance decrement. Change of task is therefore the best mechanism to stop vigilance decrement.
Daniel, R. D. 2001). Effects of vigilance decrement on the recognition of embedded figures.
Hockey, R. (2013). The psychology of fatigue: Work, effort, and control.
Jerison, H. J., Antioch College, & Aerospace Medical Laboratory (U.S.) (1998). Experiments on vigilance: Duration of vigil and the decrement function fourth in a series. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio: Aero Medical Laboratory, Wright Air Development Center, Air Research and Development Command, U.S. Air Force.
Ogilvie, R. D., & Harsh, J. R. (1994). Sleep onset: Normal and abnormal processes. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Smith, R. L. (2007). An investigation of determinants of the vigilance decrement.