Barber, Larissa K.
M.A. (Master of Arts)
Department of Psychology
Recovery from work is thought to occur outside of the workplace. However, employees may have the opportunity to recover within the work day via micro-breaks, or short momentary breaks during demanding work tasks. Two strategies for mitigating fatigue include psychological detachment and replenishing motivational incentives via positive affect. This study examined whether recovery was possible during a work task and to what extent different break content facilitated later performance. In an experimental study, 201 students were randomly assigned to receiving a relaxation micro-break (n = 63), a mastery micro-break (n = 68), or no break (n = 72) in the middle of a monotonous work task to compare their effects on subsequent work performance. Overall, these data suggest that micro-breaks indeed resulted in improved task performance and within-task recovery, but only affected psychological detachment processes. There was no effect of micro-breaks on positive affect compared to a no-break group. Also, although mastery breaks resulted in more psychological detachment than relaxation breaks, it did not translate into performance differences based on micro-break type. These results build on existing recovery theories by further demonstrating within-task recovery, and suggest future work should include mastery activities in exploring recovery during the workday.
Conlin, Amanda Lynn, "Comparing relaxation versus mastery micro-break activity : a within-task recovery perspective" (2018). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 1857.
Northern Illinois University
Rights Statement 2
NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.