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Recent studies (Gray & Fu, 2004; Fu & Gray, 2006) suggest that when information needed to complete a task from a computer display takes longer than the time to retrieve it from memory, then people will automatically use their error-prone memory instead of the accurate information on the display. This is called the soft constraints hypothesis. Soft constraints, like time delays, dictate strategy selection at the local level affecting the body's eye and hand movements and choice of cognitive functions. It was hypothesized that adding time pressure to a task and inhibiting feedback would emphasize local performance and adding time delays that make the computer appear slow would encourage people to adopt a strategy of speed over accuracy. The major results indicate that time delays, inhibited feedback, and time pressure did not affect strategy. Evidence was found suggesting that participants adopted a stable strategy using heuristics (Simon, 1990) that emphasized the use of memory, with few trials ending in error, and also produced relatively fast trial times. Explanations for the results based on metacognition and task differences, and ideas for future studies, are discussed.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Includes bibliographical references.
Michael Kaschak, Professor Directing Thesis; Colleen Kelley, Committee Member; Jon Maner, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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