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The Effects of Noise and Gender on Cognitive Processing Speed
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by Julie L. Cordova - Pacific Lutheran University
Categories: Cognitive | Gender
The purpose of this study was to explore gender differences in sensitivity to noise and the impact of that sensitivity on cognitive task performance. Although previous research has yielded conflicting results, one consistent finding suggests that gender has a complex relationship with performance under noise conditions. A computerized reaction time test designed to assess cognitive processing speed was given to 28 participants in a 2 x 2 (Gender x Noise Condition) experimental design. The test included both simple and complex reaction time tasks. Simple reaction time, as predicted, was unaffected by noise; however, results did not support the hypothesis that noise would slow complex reaction time. Although no significant interaction effect was found between gender and noise, a significant main effect of gender was found across tasks and noise conditions. These findings are discussed and further research alternatives are suggested.