Ironic effects of mental control in problem solving: Evidence for the implementation of ineffective strategies

Date
2006
Authors
Hart, Christian L.
Randell, Joe A.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
McNeese State University
Abstract

The ironic effect of intending to solve problems was examined in this study. Previous research has demonstrated ironic effects of mental control for numerous behavioral and cognitive processes. In this study, subjects were either asked to solve problems, or they were asked to solve the same problems as quickly and efficiently as possible. Based on previous demonstrations of ironic effects of mental control, it was expected that those exercising the greatest mental control would have the poorest performance. Results indicated that those subjects trying to solve problems quickly and efficiently actually solved fewer problems and committed more errors than those who were not intended to work quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, there is evidence that this ironic effect of mental control in problem solving was associated with the use of different strategies. The use of ineffective strategies is suggested as one explanation for the ironic effects of mental control.

Description
Article originally published in American Journal of Psychological Research, 2(1), 40-45. English. Published online 2006. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321110983
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Keywords
Cognitive processes, Theory of ironic processes, Counter-intentional behaviors
Citation
This is the published version of an article that is available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321110983. Recommended citation: Hart, C. L., & Randell, J. A. (2006). Ironic effects of mental control in problem solving: Evidence for the implementation of ineffective strategies. American Journal of Psychological Research, 2(1), 40-45. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.