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Excessive use of reminders: Metacognition and effort-minimisation in cognitive offloading

Sachdeva, C; Gilbert, SJ; (2020) Excessive use of reminders: Metacognition and effort-minimisation in cognitive offloading. Consciousness and Cognition , 85 , Article 103024. 10.1016/j.concog.2020.103024.

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Abstract

People often use external reminders to help remember delayed intentions. This is a form of "cognitive offloading". Individuals sometimes offload more often than would be optimal (Gilbert et al., 2020). This bias has been linked to participants' erroneous metacognitive underconfidence in their memory abilities. However, underconfidence is unlikely to fully explain the bias. An additional, previously-untested factor that may contribute to the offloading bias is a preference to avoid cognitive effort associated with remembering internally. The present Registered Report examined evidence for this hypothesis. One group of participants received payment contingent on their performance of the task (hypothesised to increase cognitive effort, and therefore reduce the bias towards offloading); another group received a flat payment for taking part, as in the earlier experiment. The offloading bias was significantly reduced (but not eliminated) in the rewarded group, suggesting that a preference to avoid cognitive effort influences cognitive offloading.

Type: Article
Title: Excessive use of reminders: Metacognition and effort-minimisation in cognitive offloading
Location: United States
DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2020.103024
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2020.103024
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: Cognitive offloading, Effort, Intentions, Metacognition, Prospective memory, Reward
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10112710
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