Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Garriy Shteynberg

Committee Members

Lowell Gaertner, Michael Olson, Rajan Mahadevan


A series of experiments were conducted to examine the effects of social context on multiple object tracking performance. In both experiments participants performed the task alongside a confederate or alone. In the social conditions participants performed either simultaneous or took turns. Object tracking tasks were separated into two trial blocks with a distraction task performed intermittently, allowing for congruent task order between all conditions. Results were interpreted using the theories of shared attention, social facilitation, and joint action. We predicted that performing the task simultaneously would result in increased performance due to greater allocation of cognitive resources, as would be predicted by shared attention theory. This was found to not be the case. These studies did however produce various surprising results relating to block and gendered effects, perceived closeness, as well as passive learning.

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