Poster D8, Monday, March 26, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Testing the Assumptions of the Thought Probe Method in Mind Wandering
Jennifer Yip1, Julia Kam2, Todd Handy1; 1University of British Columbia, 2University of California - Berkeley
A common approach to studying the phenomenon of mind wandering involves experience sampling, where study participants are stopped at random intervals during task performance and asked to report whether or not they were just paying attention to the task at hand. Critically, an untested assumption of this paradigm is that after such experience sampling thought probes, participants’ attentional states “reset” to a baseline state, such that the post-thought probe state is independent of recent attentional history. Our study re-analyzed a pre-existing event-related potential (ERP) dataset to test the validity of this assumption. Participants viewed images of peoples’ hands in various contexts, some of which were in painful situations (e.g., getting a locker door shut on them) or neutral situations (e.g., next to a locker door). Participants then judged whether each image was painful or neutral as researchers recorded ERPs generated by the images. We expect painful images from the previous study to produce a greater P300 mean amplitude compared to neutral images, and the depth of cognitive analysis after a thought probe to be the same regardless of attentional state. Results showed that main effects of both attention and image type were significant between 300 to 500ms post-stimulus (p < .05), but only the main effect of image type was significant for 500 to 700ms post-stimulus (p < .01). The interaction between attention and image type for both time windows were not significant (p >.31). Overall, results suggest that previous attention state indeed does not influence subsequent attention states.
Topic Area: ATTENTION: Other