Emotion and Reasoning: A Metacognitive Perspective

Date

2016-08-05

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Conference

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

The talk will draw on the Thompson’s (2011) theory of metacognition in reasoning, which aims to identify the mechanisms that trigger effortful (type 2) processing. We will discuss the metacognitive perspective in relation to the role of emotional content, a topic not yet integrated into the theory. We suggest that emotion serves as a metacognitive cue to trigger effortful processing. We will present a conditional inference task using fear-related versus neutral materials, matched for believability. The task utilizes a simplified version of the two-response paradigm developed by Thompson et al (2011). Participants provide a fast first response and feeling of rightness (FOR) rating; this is then repeated with no time restriction. Changes between the first and second response provide a measure of effortful thinking. The findings suggest that emotion has a dual role. First, it moderates the effect of FOR: FOR and response change only correlated for fear-related materials, an effect that was replicated across items. Second, fear triggers low FOR, which then activates effortful processing: FOR was lower overall for fear-related materials. This effect was mediated by type of inference: for fear-related materials, participants changed their responses more for the denial inferences (MT, DA) relative to the affirmation inferences (MP, AC). The opposite was true for neutral materials. We discuss whether the effect is task-specific.

Description

Keywords

Psychology

Citation

Jeffries, A., Elqayam, S., Scase, M. (2016) Emotion and Reasoning: A Metacognitive Perspective. ICT 2016: International Conference on Thinking 2016, August 4-6, 2016 Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.

Rights

Research Institute

Institute for Psychological Science