Welcome to the Performance Research Laboratory (PeRL)!

Our research focuses on psychological aspects that affect cognitive performance and technology use. Specifically, we are interested in how social, motivational, affective, and trait factors affect performance, stress and workload in vigilance.

What is Vigilance?

Vigilance is commonly defined as the ability to sustain attention for extended periods of time and to respond to infrequently occurring signals.

What are Individual Differences?

Individual differences help explain why every person varies in some aspects of their psychological characteristics. More specifically, we examine factors such as age, biological sex, personality traits, etc.

How does Social Influence relate to our our lab?

We are examining various forms of social influence in relation to vigilance tasks. More specifically, there is evidence to suggest that social support can alleviate stress, which our lab seeks to examine. Additionally, social facilitation (e.g., mere presence or evaluative presence) has been found to improve vigilance performance, an effect we are continuing to explore in our current work.

What are our current research efforts?

At this time, we have three major lines of research:

  • The study of individual differences as they relate to performance, workload, and stress associated with performing vigilance tasks.
  • The role of the social context (specifically, social facilitation and social support) in relation to performance, workload, and stress.
  • Training for vigilance tasks, including air traffic controllers, baggage screening, threat detection, and military applications.