ERIC Number: EJ1107338
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Toward a Metacognitive Account of Cognitive Offloading
Dunn, Timothy L.; Risko, Evan F.
Cognitive Science, v40 n5 p1080-1127 Jul 2016
Individuals frequently make use of the body and environment when engaged in a cognitive task. For example, individuals will often spontaneously physically rotate when faced with rotated objects, such as an array of words, to putatively offload the performance costs associated with stimulus rotation. We looked to further examine this idea by independently manipulating the costs associated with both word rotation and array frame rotation. Surprisingly, we found that individuals' patterns of spontaneous physical rotations did not follow patterns of performance costs or benefits associated with being physically rotated, findings difficult to reconcile with existing theories of strategy selection involving external resources. Individuals' subjective ratings of perceived benefits, rather, provided an excellent match to the patterns of physical rotations, suggesting that the critical variable when deciding on-the-fly whether to incorporate an external resource is the participant's metacognitive beliefs regarding expected performance or the effort required for each approach (i.e., internal vs. internal + external). Implications for metacognition's future in theories of cognitive offloading are discussed.
Descriptors: Metacognition, Difficulty Level, Word Order, Evaluation Methods, Learning Strategies, Decision Making, Beliefs, Expectation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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