Electrodermal activity during napping and its relationship with performances on a reaction time task

Analbers, D.A.C. (2013) Electrodermal activity during napping and its relationship with performances on a reaction time task.

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Abstract:The aim of this study was to measure and clarify electrodermal activity around and during the powernap and the benefits and disadvantages of the powernap relative to reaction time on a task. It was expected that the number of skin conductance responses (SCRs), and the amplitude thereof, were lowest of the day during the powernap. This was measured by a Q-sensor for five days from 10.00 am to 17.00 pm. Also, the participants had to perform a reaction time task every half hour. It was expected that the reaction time scores directly after a power nap were lengthened by "sleep inertia." This term meant that a person is still dull or drowsy when the person wakes up. This could be a disadvantage for taking a powernap. Further, it was expected that the alertness of the five participants was improved by the powernap. 10 Randomly chosen reaction time scores before the powernap were compared with 10 random reaction time scores after the powernap. It was expected that the reaction time scores of the participants after a powernap were shortened, compared with all reaction time scores before the powernap. The results of the study confirmed the hypothesis that the number SCRs was lowest during the powernap for the five individuals in this study. The statistical tests were based on randomization tests suitable for small-n samples (Dugard, File & Todman, 2011). The results showed a marginal difference emerged with regard to the amplitude of SCRs. The amplitude during powernap was slightly lower than the amplitude at other times where the participants took no powernap. The reaction test showed that there were no differences between the response times around the powernap and the reaction directly after the power nap. There was no evidence that the participants suffered from sleep inertia. We did find that the reaction time scores after a powernap were improved, as compared to the reaction time scores before the powernap. For future research, electrodermal lability and stability are interesting concepts. There were differences between the participants in the amplitude and number of SCRs. Some participants had many variations in the number and amplitude, which could have to do with electrodermal lability. Others scored very stable. Also, the effects of a powernap could be measured on employees during working hours. Both employers and employees may benefit from it, because a powernap can cause an improved alertness and can thereby reduce errors and accidents at the workplace.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/63179
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