Cognitive Interference: Theories, Methods, and Findings

Cognitive Interference: Theories, Methods, and Findings

Cognitive Interference: Theories, Methods, and Findings

Cognitive Interference: Theories, Methods, and Findings

Synopsis

Cognitive interference refers to the unwanted and often disturbing thoughts that intrude on a person's life. Mounting evidence in a number of areas has shown that cognitive interference plays an important role in stress, poor performance, slow learning, social maladjustment, psychopathology, and behaviors resulting in accidents. The empirical evidence of cognitive interference is impressive, yet it is also scattered across several disciplines that often do not communicate with one another. This book synthesizes and integrates work on cognitive interference. It reviews the major types of interfering thoughts, how they are assessed, the mechanisms by which they influence behavior, and their theoretical and practical significance. The chapter authors of this cohesive and integrated volume are among the leading researchers, theorists, and clinicians in the study of various types of unwanted thoughts. Aimed at researchers and practitioners whose efforts are directed at understanding cognitive interference, the book is organized into three sections: theoretical analyses of cognitive interference, the book is organized into three sections: theoretical analyses of cognitive interference, the role of cognitive interference in influencing performance and social behavior, and the pervasive and debilitating manifestations of cognitive interference that clinicians treat.

Excerpt

We all know that what people think about influences their behavior. Recognizing this, cognitive researchers have emphasized the need to demonstrate empirically the relationship between specific types of cognitive events and processes, on the one hand, and actions, on the other. For example, we now know that whether individuals focus their attention primarily in an inward self-oriented direction or on the task confronting them has a significant impact on their behavior. We also know that stress often produces an increase in the amount of off-task thinking and that some individuals seem to be generally prone to have thoughts that interfere with what they want to do. This volume is about the role unwanted thoughts play in people's lives, particularly with regard to effective performance and happiness. Our contributing authors are among the leaders in the study of various types of unwanted thoughts. They have done pioneering work in identifying both personality and situational variables that increase or decrease intrusive cognitions.

People differ in the kinds of cognitive interference they experience -- images, thoughts, doubts, impulses. This book tells why certain cognitive events occur and what influences them. Although we all know that it is good to be task-oriented, attentive to what is going on in the situations with which we deal, and analytical in our approach to solving problems, we also know that this does not always happen. A person may be so anxious, depressed, or angry that rationality and planfulness are not possible. These personal affective responses can be due to the kind of people we are, the situation we find ourselves in, or both. An example of the role played by individual differences is the situation created by the instructions on an appliance we are considering buying. The instructions might say "Some assembly needed," and evoke a wide range of cognitive responses ranging from "This should be fun" to I can't do this" to "What fool made up these instructions? . . ."

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.