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Date of Award

Winter 5-2-2019

Thesis Access

WSU Access Only Honors Thesis

Degree Name

B.S.

Department

Kinesiology and Pedagogy

Faculty Advisor

Mario Vassallo

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of caffeine on the reaction time and decision making on adults. It was hypothesized that consumption of caffeine products would lead to faster reaction times and lower decision-making errors when performing both simple and choice reaction time tests. A questionnaire was filled out by all 15 participants to obtain demographic information as well as information such as caffeine consumption prior to testing, frequency of caffeine consumption, and self-perceived ratings on attention and reaction time. Three separate styles of reaction time tests were used in the study. Hick’s Law tests using rulers were used to evaluate simple and choice reaction time measuring catch speed. The Deary-Liewald test was also used to test for both simple and choice reaction times using the tapping motion on keyboard keys. The final test involved using a clicking motion on a mouse when picture change occurred on the screen to evaluate simple reaction time only. As a result of this study, on average, participants who had ingested caffeine products within the half-life of caffeine performed better on reaction time tests for both simple and choice reaction time when performing the Deary-Liewald as well as picture change simple reaction time test. This matched up with previous literature which found that caffeine boosted vigilance, attention, and tapping speed which would be advantageous when performing those two tests.

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