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