Performance refers to the degree of success people have in carrying out tasks, activities and goals. While often thought about in terms of athletic and sports activities, it encompasses much more than that. Consider completing schoolwork, work assignments or household chores; preparing meals; taking medications; managing budgets and passing tests. All require us to do something.
Executive functions, based on cognitive psychology and neuroscience research, are the general cognitive processes that underlie performance, making it possible for us to plan and execute our goals. As such, performance encompasses following directions; remembering; expressing yourself; planning, critical and creative thinking and decision making.
The Well Living Lab has developed an app to monitor executive function in its research, related to memory, switching tasks and controlling our automatic responses. Performance evaluation depends upon the task being undertaken and may include measures of speed and accuracy, thoroughness, productivity, results and other metrics.
The Well Living Lab aims to understand the relationship between aspects of the indoor environment and a person’s performance. Through this examination, the lab may uncover ways to alter the built environment to minimize the effects of declining executive function, which typically begins to occur at age 40. This could improve the lives of society’s aging population.