The effect of dominant hand biofeedback training on the digital skin temperature of right handed college students

No Thumbnail Available
Largent, Lawrence D.
Hendrickson, Donald A.
Issue Date
Thesis (Ph. D.)
Other Identifiers

The purpose of this study was to determine if right-side dominant college students who received thermal biofeedback from the dominant side of the body would learn the voluntary control of hard temperature faster than those who received feecback from the non-dominant side.The sample consisted of 60 volunteers from a large university in the 'Midwest. The subjects were randomly assigned to two treatment groups with 30 subjects in each group. In all, 38 females and 22 males completed the experiment. The subjects were not taking medication, nor did they have any past history of psychological treatment or any experience with biofeedback training.Treatments had previously been randomly assigned to groups prior to the assignment of subjects. Group one received feedback from the index finger of the right hand, and group two received feedback from the index finger of the left hand.The equipment used in this study consisted of two Systec, Inc., T2-P thermal trainers. The experimenter placed the thermistor of the instrument on the assigned index finger of the subject. Scotch brand transparent tape, 1/2 inch wide, was used to attach the termistor to the subject's finger and care was taken to insure that the tape did not restrict the flow of blood.The study consisted of five sessions, and each session was 20 minutes in length. The first session consisted only of 20 minutes of adaption to the treatment room and to the thermal trainer. The subject was instructed to relax during this period, and after five minutes of adaption the thermal. trainer was turned on; however, no feedback was provided to the subject. The temperature at the end of 15 minutes was recorded and defined as the subject's basal temperature.Sessions two, three, four, and five were identical to each other in time period design. There were five minutes of adaption and 15 minutes of visual feedback. The end-temperature was recorded for each of these sessions.The data were subjected to a two way analysis of variance with repeated measures on one factor. The F value obtained for the interaction between the locus of feedback and the performance for the number of sessions was not statistically significant at the .05 level. Therefore, the group that received feedback from the dominant side did not learn the voluntary central of hand temperature faster than the group that received feedback from the non-dominant side.In addition, there was no support for 2 informal hypotheses which were tested. There was no significant difference in performance between the dominant hard feedback group and the non-dominant hand feedback group. The number of sessions did make a significant difference in endtemperature scores. However, this hypothesis had not been selected for an a priori test and so it could not be rejected at the a priori .05 level of confidence. A Scheffe test revealed that the differences for the s' le marginal effects were not significantly different at the .05 level of significance.