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Can Intrinsic and Extrinsic Metacognitive Cues Shield Against Distraction in Problem Solving?

Authors
  • Ball, Linden J.1
  • Threadgold, Emma1
  • Solowiej, Anna2
  • Marsh, John E.1, 3
  • 1 School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK
  • 2 School of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, DE
  • 3 Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, University of Gävle, Gävle, SE
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Cognition
Publisher
Ubiquity Press
Publication Date
Feb 21, 2018
Volume
1
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.5334/joc.9
PMID: 31517189
PMCID: PMC6634472
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green
External links

Abstract

We investigated the capacity for two different forms of metacognitive cue to shield against auditory distraction in problem solving with Compound Remote Associates Tasks (CRATs). Experiment 1 demonstrated that an intrinsic metacognitive cue in the form of processing disfluency (manipulated using an easy-to-read vs. difficult-to-read font) could increase focal task engagement so as to mitigate the detrimental impact of distraction on solution rates for CRATs. Experiment 2 showed that an extrinsic metacognitive cue that took the form of an incentive for good task performance (i.e. 80% or better CRAT solutions) could likewise eliminate the negative impact of distraction on CRAT solution rates. Overall, these findings support the view that both intrinsic and extrinsic metacognitive cues have remarkably similar effects. This suggests that metacognitive cues operate via a common underlying mechanism whereby a participant applies increased focal attention to the primary task so as to ensure more steadfast task engagement that is not so easily diverted by task-irrelevant stimuli.

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