Psychology: Interdisciplinary Research in Behavioral Sciences of Transportation Issues

Home Institution, City, State

University of Maryland, College Park, MD


Information Science and Journalism

Publication Date

Summer 2021


Modern technological environments integrate multiple devices, competing for limited attentional resources of users. This study aimed to validate the auditory stimuli used in Horrey et al. (2017) with a college student population and examine the psychological structure of task engagement. Thirty-nine students listened to thirty-nine auditory stimuli used in Horrey et al. (2017) for their level of engagement. Participants rated how interesting they found the material on a slider from -7 (boring) to 7 (interesting) while listening to each clip. Participants also rated levels of difficulty, entertainment, and likelihood to attend to each clip. Participants who rated high on difficulty, entertainment, and attention also rated higher interestingness scores than those with low ratings, suggesting that these as important constituents of perceived interestingness of the auditory clips. Results indicate complexity of the psychological structure of task engagement and importance of controlling these factors in auditory stimuli to manipulate engagement.


Task engagement/interest, Self-report, Distraction


Human Factors Psychology



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How Interesting Is This To You: Rating the Interestingness of Auditory Clips



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