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Emerging perspectives on distraction and task interruptions: metacognition, cognitive control and facilitation - part I
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Health, Education and Technology, Health, Medicine and Rehabilitation. School of Psychology and Humanities, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9494-1287
Department of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.
Department of Psychology and Psychotherapy, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten, Germany.
Department of Applied Psychology, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, UK.
2024 (English)In: Journal of Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 2044-5911, E-ISSN 2044-592X, Vol. 36, no 1, p. 1-7Article in journal, Editorial material (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Modern technology allows for the control of learning and work environments to an unprecedented degree. Therefore, the focus of research shifts from how learning and work performance are passively affected by environmental factors to how people actively shape their own learning and work experiences. This includes task-irrelevant stimuli and task interruptions. For instance, modern headphones allow one to switch between two modes: Active noise cancelling eliminates all background sounds while acoustic transparency allows certain signals to pass through the headphones, creating a customisable audio space. Modern devices also allow us to plan certain task interruptions (for example, by email alerts) in advance. This gives users unprecedented autonomy over their learning and work environments. However, increased control does not necessarily imply that these environments are free of distraction and interruptions. In fact, quite the opposite is true: Modern-day digital learning and work environments are full of distractions and interruptions. With users’ increased control over their learning and work environments, new research questions arise that emphasise the active role of the individual in shaping their own learning and work experiences:

  • Are people capable of distinguishing between harmful and helpful task-irrelevant stimuli and activities?
  • Can the harmful aspects of distractions and interruptions be brought under cognitive control?
  • Are distraction and task interruptions always harmful or are they sometimes helpful? 

Within this Special Issue, we primarily focus on the following emerging trends in distraction and attention.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2024. Vol. 36, no 1, p. 1-7
Keywords [en]
automaticity, cognitive control, Distraction, interruption, metacognition
National Category
Applied Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-104468DOI: 10.1080/20445911.2024.2314974Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85185688401OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-104468DiVA, id: diva2:1842863
Note

Godkänd;2024;Nivå 0;2024-03-25 (joosat);

Full text license: CC BY

Available from: 2024-03-06 Created: 2024-03-06 Last updated: 2024-03-25Bibliographically approved

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Marsh, John E.

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