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Compliant activity rather than difficulty accelerates thought probe responsiveness and inhibits deliberate mind wandering.

Subhani, B.R., Amos-Oluwole, O.I., Claxton, H.L., Holmes, D.C., Westling, C. and Witchel, H.J., 2019. Compliant activity rather than difficulty accelerates thought probe responsiveness and inhibits deliberate mind wandering. Behaviour and Information Technology, 38 (10), 1048 - 1059.

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DOI: 10.1080/0144929X.2019.1655095

Abstract

Mind wandering is a commonly intruding cognitive state that leads to diminished performance and increased error risk during a primary task. A controversy over whether easier or more difficult tasks increase mind wandering has led to mind wandering being proposed as two different states: deliberate and spontaneous. We hypothesise that forced engagement via persistent compliant activity may both increase responsiveness and inhibit non-instrumental activities including deliberate mind wandering. Twenty-eight healthy adults interacted with 2 pairs of stimuli, each pair having one low-interactivity version and a high-interactivity version requiring compliant activity. Mind wandering was assessed by thought probes, and subjective responses were rated using visual analogue scales. Reaction times were measured using Superlab. Compliant activity decreased the prevalence of deliberate mind wandering episodes but not of overall mind wandering. Thought probe durations were accelerated significantly by compliant activity, near-significantly by thinking on-task thoughts, and additively by the combination of both. Deliberate and spontaneous mind wandering elicited equivalent thought probe durations. We conclude that compliant activity works synergistically with lack of mind wandering to accelerate the difficult task of thought probe response but not simple reaction times. These results fit with an arousal model but not the attentional resources model.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:0144-929X
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:33900
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:22 Apr 2020 12:40
Last Modified:19 Aug 2020 01:08

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