Jane O'Higgins
Applied Psychology / Year 4

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Jane O'Higgins

Jane O'Higgins

Applied Psychology

Year 4

  • Project Title Embodied Cognition: The Effect of Clothing and the Environment on Selective Attention
  • Course BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology
  • Year 4
  • Contact Info cognitiveresearchmrp@gmail.com

Effect of Clothing and the Environment on Selective Attention

The aim of this study is to extend the previous findings of embodied cognition and to examine the effect of clothing and the environment on the wearer’s selective attention.

Project Description

Embodied cognition is the phenomenon that external sources (clothing, weather, the environment, etc.) affect cognition. Previous research on this topic has found that nature can help overcome attentional fatigue, white lab coats increase attention accuracy, and messy environments can produce creativity, whereas, wearing glasses has no effect on attention at all. The aim of this study is to extend the previous findings of embodied cognition and to examine the effect of clothing and the environment on the wearer’s selective attention. Lab coats and laboratories were used in this study to manipulate the environment and the participants clothing. This study consisted of 80 undergraduate students from IADT. Participants were randomly assigned into one of four conditions (lab and coat, lab and no coat, classroom and coat, and classroom and no coat) where they carried out a simple Stroop task (Stroop, 1935) using the Encephal App. Stroop (www.encephalapp.com); this is a test where participants are asked to choose the colour that a word is written in, rather than what colour the word actually reads. E.g., Red. This is done as quickly as possible, using multiple trials, in order assess their selective attention. As clothing and the environment are constant elements of life, it is important to investigate them further than their primary purposes, such as their effect on different cognitive processes. Results of this study indicated that there is a positive effect for clothing on selective attention, however, no effect was found for the environment on selective attention, and no interaction found between both variables. This study bridges a gap previously missing from psychological literature, while also allowing a platform for further research in a number of different directions.

Project Findings

Results of this study indicated that there is a positive effect for clothing on selective attention, however, no effect was found for the environment on selective attention, and no interaction found between both variables.

Jane O'Higgins
Applied Psychology / Year 4