The Role of Expectations on Attention Performance

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AD/HD medications are shown to be significantly more successful at enhancing attention/concentration performance in individuals with AD/HD than placebo treatments. Few studies, however, have investigated the possibility of a placebo reaction in both medication and placebo groups by comparing placebo treatments to no treatment at all. Using an undergraduate population, I evaluated the effect of expectations about a treatment's efficacy on performance in an attention/concentration task. In addition to cognitive performance outcome measures, I included several physiological measures, such as heart rate variability (HRV) through respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA). Contrary to expectations, no differences were observed in performance on attention ... continued below

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Kauffman, Erin, E. August 2012.

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  • Kauffman, Erin, E.

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AD/HD medications are shown to be significantly more successful at enhancing attention/concentration performance in individuals with AD/HD than placebo treatments. Few studies, however, have investigated the possibility of a placebo reaction in both medication and placebo groups by comparing placebo treatments to no treatment at all. Using an undergraduate population, I evaluated the effect of expectations about a treatment's efficacy on performance in an attention/concentration task. In addition to cognitive performance outcome measures, I included several physiological measures, such as heart rate variability (HRV) through respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA). Contrary to expectations, no differences were observed in performance on attention tasks or physiological measurements as a result of the believed efficacy of an orally administered placebo treatment.

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  • August 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • March 4, 2013, 2:02 p.m.

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  • Nov. 16, 2016, 3:46 p.m.

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Kauffman, Erin, E. The Role of Expectations on Attention Performance, thesis, August 2012; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149618/: accessed August 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .