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THE CALCULATION OF MEAN HAND SKIN TEMPERATURE IN STUDIES OF MANUAL PERFORMANCE IN THE COLD
QUARTERMASTER RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING CENTER NATICK MA NATICK
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The relationship between hand skin temperature and manual performance has been studied under several experimental conditions. In the most recent of these studies, criterion hand skin temperatures were calculated as weighted means of two thermocouple readings, one reading having been obtained from each of Ss fifth fingers. However, differences as great as 30F have been found at times between the skin temperatures of Ss hands during cooling. When such differences occur, criterion skin temperatures at which S is to perform should be calculated as simple arithmetic averages only if it can be shown empirically that each hand contributes equally to performance. If it were found that the preferred hand is more important in the standard task, then criterion skin temperatures should be calculated as means weighted appropriately in favor of the preferred hand. Specifically, if it can be shown that performance duration increases above that obtained at normal skin temperature by x times when only the preferred hand is cooled and by y times when only the non-preferred hand is cooled, then the skin temperatures of these hands may be weighted by x and y, respectively, in calculating the criterion hand skin temperatures. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether or not these weights are necessary and, if so, to obtain them.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE