Publication: Just a click away: Action-state orientation moderates the impact of task interruptions on initiative

ObjectiveThe present research examines the role of individual differences in self‐regulation (i.e., demand‐related action-state orientation) on initiative to resume an interrupted task.

MethodIn three studies (N1 = 208, 55% male, Mage = 33.2; N2 = 457, 62% male, Mage = 31.7; N3 = 210, 60% male, Mage = 32.6), participants were notified about a network interruption while playing a computer game. Participants could dismiss the interrupting notification by clicking a continue button or wait until the notification timed out. We manipulated demand by presenting notifications during (demand) versus after game rounds (no demand).

ResultsDemand‐related action orientation was associated with higher probability to dismiss the notification during a game round, controlling for dismissal after a game round. Findings occurred when controlling for task ability and task motivation, were specific for demand‐ and not threat‐related action orientation, were complemented by shorter dismissal latencies, and were stable across interruption timeouts (Studies 1-3). Exposure through repetition resulted in adaptation (Study 3).

ConclusionThe findings suggest that people with lower action orientation have less self‐regulatory ability to initiate goal‐directed action and resume interrupted tasks--even if they are just a click away. Findings are discussed within the framework of Personality Systems Interactions theory.

Participants

Max Birk
Eindhoven University of Technology
Regan Mandryk
University of Saskatchewan
Nicola Baumann

Citation

Birk, M., Mandryk, R.L., Baumann, N. 2019. Just a click away: Action-state orientation moderates the impact of task interruptions on initiative. In Journal of Personality, 1-18. OPEN ACCESS. DOI=10.1111/jopy.12498.

BibTeX

@article {
author= {Max Birk and Regan Mandryk and Nicola Baumann},
title= {Just a click away: Action-state orientation moderates the impact of task interruptions on initiative},
booktitle= {Journal of Personality},
year= {2019},
pages= {1-18},
note= {OPEN ACCESS}
}