5 February 2018

Marco Piovesan in bestseller

Daniel Pink’s “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing” refers to Marco Piovesan’s paper published last year in PNAS.

Piovesan and co-authors identify one potential source of bias that influences children’s performance on standardized tests: the time at which students take the test.

Using test data for all children attending Danish public schools, between school years 2009/10 and 2012/13, they find that, for every hour later in the day, test scores decrease by 0.9% of an SD. In addition, a 20- to 30-minute break improves average test scores.

The Time of the day, affects students’ test performance because, over the course of a regular day, students’ mental resources get taxed. Thus, as the day wears on, students become increasingly fatigued and consequently more likely to underperform on a standardized test.

These findings, according to Pink, suggest that “scheduling in a couple of 10 or 15 minute breaks throughout the work day helps improve work performance. Breaks can include napping, taking a walk or spending time outside with somebody else. The key is to avoid bringing up work issues in order to practice full detachment from the work place.”

You can read the article in PNAS here