Self-Regulation Study

The purpose of this research study is to understand how the body reacts when an individual needs to focus attention and self-regulate. Self-regulation is a process that requires attention to the task at hand and the ability to override an automatic response when a different response is required.

The study takes place at the Research and Learning Center at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.  Parents and children who wish to participate will wear a wristband that collects physiological data while they complete the attention and self-regulation task on an iPad. Scores on the task will be based on a combination of accuracy and reaction time. The wristband will collect physiological data (heart rate and skin conductance). When participants are excited and alert, their heart rate typically increases and they may have a small amount of sweat that shows up on their skin. Skin conductance is the term used to describe the amount of sweat that is coming from your skin. This wristband can measure your heart rate and skin conductance. This tells us about  general arousal levels related calmness, excitement, and alertness. The wristband that we will use is the Empatica E4 wristband.

Participants ranging in age from 7 years old through adulthood complete a questionnaire about general levels of  attention and self-regulation in everyday life and then complete the attention and self-regulation task on an iPad. Participants wear the wristband throughout the 20-minute experiment.

Dr. Catherine Spann