Effect of monitoring on the decision criterion and mind-wandering during a sustained attention task

[Speaker] Kinosada, Yasunori:1
[Co-author] Fujii, Tatsufumi:1, Dempo, Kaori:1, Shinohara, Kazumitsu:1, Enya, Takeshi:2, Shibagaki, Yumi:2
1:Osaka University (Japan), 2:DENSO CORPORATION (Japan)

It is well-known that monitoring influences performance on various tasks. In the present experiment, we examined whether monitoring also influences task-unrelated thoughts (i.e., mind-wandering) that occur during the task. In a visual sustained attention task, the participants pressed the response button except for when the rare target was presented. During each trial, a thought probe suddenly appeared on the display. Participants reported whether or not they were thinking about task-unrelated things. Almost half the participants completed the experiment alone, while the rest of them were monitored by the experimenter. Results showed that monitoring reduced the false-alarms related to the appearance of the rare target, which meant that the monitoring increased the tendency to make conservative decisions. However, we also found that monitoring increased the frequency of mind-wandering during the task. These results indicate the possibility that change in the decision criterion, which is caused by monitoring, led to more mind-wandering.
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