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Title The Coffee Shop Effect: Investigating the Relationship between Ambient Noise and Cognitive Flexibility
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Publication Date
University/Publisher University of Western Ontario
Abstract Cognitive flexibility is the ability to think diversely in order to solve problems and learn concepts. It has also been suggested that cognitive flexibility supports creativity. Research has demonstrated that creativity is enhanced by moderate volumes of ambient noise. This thesis sought to replicate and extend this line of research by investigating how noise affects cognitive flexibility. Study 1 assessed the effects of noise on three creativity tasks. Performance was found to be enhanced by ambient noise, particularly among those who listen to music while they study/work. Study 2 examined how noise affects performance on a category learning task designed to measure cognitive flexibility. Category learning was neither enhanced nor impaired by ambient noise. This work suggests that noise may be beneficial for creativity but not for learning. Further research is needed to clarify the effect that ambient noise has on cognitive flexibility as it applies to other, non-learning-based tasks.
Subjects/Keywords Ambient Noise; Creativity; Cognitive Flexibility; Category Learning; Individual Differences; COVIS Theory; Cognitive Psychology
Language en
Country of Publication ca
Format application/pdf
Record ID oai:ir.lib.uwo.ca:etd-4789
Repository uwo
Date Retrieved
Date Indexed 2019-01-07

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…3.1. Parameters of the distributions used to generate items for the RD and II category sets........................................................................................................................................... 53 Table 3.2. Means…

…and standard deviations for the analyses associated with each volume condition for all participants who completed the RD category set. ........................................ 58 Table 3.3. Means and standard deviations for the analyses associated with…

…each volume condition for all participants who completed the II category set. ........................................... 59 Table 3.4. Proportion of all participants in each condition who were fit by each of the four models…

…64 Table 3.5. Participants divided by category condition, volume condition, and their stated preference for listening to music while they study/work. ....................................................... 65 vii List of Figures Figure 1.1. A…

…of each dimension are arbitrary. a) The distribution from which the rule-defined category set was derived. Frequency is the critical attribute. b) The distribution from which the information integration category set was derived. Both…

…frequency and orientation determine category membership. 54 Figure 3.2. Experimental procedure for Study 2. Participants were assigned to one of three volume conditions and one of two category set conditions. Participants completed either the rule-defined or…

…information integration category learning task, followed by a four-part questionnaire. .......................................................................................................................... 57 viii List of Appendices Appendix A: The CRA…

…Associates GRT................................................................................................General Recognition Theory II…

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