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Lecture 12

Lecture 12 - Ironic Processes.docx

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PSYC 333
Jennifer Bartz

Lecture 13 – Ironic Processes Thursday October 14 Mental Control - can we control our thoughts to think and not think certain things? The White Bear - does suppressing first influence the expression of thoughts about the white bear? - condition 1 o initial suppression: first suppress a thought then express it o don’t think about the white bear, then think about whatever you want - condition 2 o initial expression: first express then suppress - verbalize thoughts for next 5 minutes, ring a bell when thinking about white bear 25 20 15 1st Suppress 10 1st Express 5 0 Suppress Period Express Period Figure 1. Thoughts of the White Bear - successful suppression of white bear with rebound effects if initially suppressed 6 5 4 Express 2nd 3 Express 1st Suppress 2nd 2 Suppress 1st 1 0 1st Min 5th Min Figure 2. Bell rings per Minute - first 1 minute similar frequency of thinking about white bear - those who were told to think about anything including the bear thinks about the bear but no longer does it 5 minutes later - those who suppressed the white bear still thinks about it after 5 minutes The Rebound Effect - thinking without a focus o told cannot think about bear but not given alternative - negative cuing o what am I doing? o trying not to think about the white bear o everything becomes associated with this task - positive cue o positive distracter  don’t think about the white bear, think about a Volkswagen instead  suppresses the rebound effect 35 30 25 20 15 Express 10 5 0 1st Express 1st Suppress Focused Distract Figure 3. White bear thoughts during expression period - positive distracter lowers the rebound effect Mental Control as an Ironic Process - state selection process: thoughts we want to have o think pleasant thoughts o think proper thoughts o think strategic thoughts Operating process - designed to achieve the above thoughts - intentional (conscious) - controlled - effortful hence if cognitively fatigue will be hard to continue - searches for thoughts matching desired state Monitoring process - unconscious - less effortful o can keep going even if fatigue due to less effort - searches for thoughts that signal failure to achieve desired mental state o as in unwanted thoughts Monitor as an Ironic Process - monitor watches for potential lapses - signals the operating system - keeps the mind sensitive to thoughts indicating failure of mental control - when cognitive capacity is undermined, operating system become limited and thoughts being monitored are no longer controlled - result: monitor making unwanted thoughts more accessible (the opposite of its job) STUDY: hyper accessibility of suppressed thoughts - suppression thoughts make it more accessible - suppression vs. concentration on a target word e.g. house - 5 min later continue task but also word associate task e.g. doctor  nurse
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