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Device‐type effects on cognitive tests appear to covary with whether unproctored internet‐based test (UIT) scores were obtained operationally or nonoperationally. The present study examined whether the testing environment and distractions therein—one of three contextual factors identified as plausible explanations—accounts for this covariation. Four‐hundred and twenty‐five college students were randomly assigned to one of three conditions which differed by the testing environment and device used to complete a cognitive test. Test scores did not differ between conditions despite greater distractions reported by those who tested in the distracting environment. Results were replicated within‐study, and suggest that the self‐selection and testing‐stakes hypotheses warrant subsequent empirical examination as explanations for the differences in device‐type effects observed in operational and nonoperational settings.

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Author: Zach Traylor,
Ellen Hagen,
Ashleigh Williams,
Winfred Arthur