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01-07-2015 | Original Article | Uitgave 4/2015

Psychological Research 4/2015

Constrained postures and spatial S–R compatibility as measured by the Simon effect

Psychological Research > Uitgave 4/2015
Magali Kreutzfeldt, Marco Leisten, Jochen Müsseler


Whereas working under constrained postures is known to influence the worker’s perceived comfort and health, little is known in regard to its influence on performance. Employing an Auditory Simon task while varying posture, we investigated the relationship between constrained postures and cognitive processes in three experiments. In Experiment 1 and 2, participants operated a rocker switch or a control knob with one hand either in front or in the back of their body and while either sitting or kneeling. Perceived musculoskeletal exertion was gathered with a questionnaire. Results of the first two experiments showed differently perceived comfort and a minor effect of constrained posture on cognitive performance. However, results indicated that spatial coding in the back compares to either a virtual turn of the observer towards the control device (front-device coding) or along the observer’s hand (effector coding). To clarify this issue the rocker switch was operated with one or two hands in Experiment 3, showing a comparable coding only in the one-hand condition and indicating evidence for the effector-coding hypothesis in the back.

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