Advertisement

Cognitive Interference

At the Intelligence—Personality Crossroads
  • Irwin G. Sarason
  • Barbara R. Sarason
  • Gregory R. Pierce
Chapter
Part of the Perspectives on Individual Differences book series (PIDF)

Abstract

Cognitive interference occupies territory on the border between personality and intelligence. Intelligence is inferred from how people perform on certain kinds of tasks. Poor performance, however, does not necessarily mean low intellective potential; it could be because the individual was upset, thinking about something else, or unmotivated. All of these circumstances can contribute to cognitive interference: thoughts that intrude on task-related activity and serve to reduce the quality and level of performance. Some cognitive intrusions can be thought of as aspects or products of personality, because they involve personal preoccupations that interfere with attention to the task at hand. Personality can facilitate performance (e.g., through high motivation and the ability to become absorbed in tasks), but it can also debilitate it (e.g., through worrying about the consequences of failure and being uncooperative with the tester).

Keywords

Social Support Goal Orientation Test Anxiety Intrusive Thought Mathematics Anxiety 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Blankenstein, K. R., Flett, G. L., and Watson, M. S. (1992). Coping and academic problem-solving ability in test anxiety. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 48, 37–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blankenstein, K. R., and Toner, B. B., and Flett, G. L. (1989). Test anxiety and the contents of consciousness: Thought-listing and endorsement measures. Journal of Research in Personality, 23, 269–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bruch, M. A., Kaflowitz, N. G., and Kuethe, M. (1986). Beliefs and the subjective meaning of thoughts: Analysis of the role of self-statements in academic test performance. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 10, 51–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carver, C. S., and Scheier, M. F. (1986). Self and the control of behavior. In L. M. Hartman and K. R. Blankenstein (Eds.). Advances in the study of communication and affect: II. Perception of self in emotional disorder and psychotherapy (pp. 5–35 ). New York: Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cervone, D. (in press). The role of self-referent cognitions in goal setting, motivation, and performance. In M. Rabinowitz (Ed.), Applied cognition. New York: Ablex.Google Scholar
  6. Clark, D. A. (1992). Depressive, anxious and intrusive thoughts in psychiatric inpatients and outpatients. Behavioral Research Therapy, 30, 93–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cohen, S., and Syme, S. L. (Eds.) (1985). Social support and health. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  8. Cooley, E. J., and Klinger, C. R. (1989). Academic attributions and coping with tests. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 8, 359–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dweck, C. S. (1986). Motivational processes affecting learning. American Psychologist, 41, 1040–1048.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dweck, C. S. (1989). Motivation. In A. Lesgold and R. Glaser (Eds.), Foundations for a psychology of education (pp. 87136 ). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  11. Dweck, C. S., and Leggett, E. L. (1988). A social-cognitive approach to motivation and personality. Psychological Review, 95, 256–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Eysenck, M. W., and Calvo, M. G. (1992). Anxiety and performance: The processing efficiency theory. Cognition and Emotion, 6, 409–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Goldsmith, D., and Albrecht, T. (1993). The impact of supportive communication networks on test anxiety and performance. Communication Education, 42, 142–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hammermaster, C. S. (1989). Levels of performance and cognitive interference in test-anxious subjects. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 35, 164–170.Google Scholar
  15. Hofmann, D. A. (1992). The influence of goal orientation on task performance: A substantively meaningful suppressor variable. Unpublished manuscript, Purdue University.Google Scholar
  16. Hunsley, J. (1987). Cognitive processes in mathematics anxiety and test anxiety: The role of appraisals, internal dialogue, and attributions. Journal of Educational Psychology, 79, 388–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Johnson, R. L., and Glass, C. R. (1989). Heterosocial anxiety and direction of attention in high school boys. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 13, 509–526.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Katakis, G. (1990). The self-referential conceptual system: Towards an operational definition of subjectivity. Systems Research, 7, 91–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kazdin, A. E. (1990). Evaluation of the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire: Negative cognitive processes and depression among children. Psychological Assessment: A Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 2, 73–79.Google Scholar
  20. Lakey, B., and Heller, K. (1988). Social support from a friend, perceived support, and social problem solving. American Journal of Community Psychology, 16, 811–824.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mathews, A., May, J., Mogg, K., and Eysenck, M. (1990). Attentional bias in anxiety: Selective search or defective filtering? Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 99, 166–173.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Miller, G., Sarason, I. G., and Sarason, B. R. (1987). Social support and cognitive interference. Paper presented at the Western Psychological Association Convention, Long Beach, CA.Google Scholar
  23. Mogg, K., Mathews, A., and Eysenck, M. (1992). Attentional bias to threat in clinical anxiety states. Cognition and Emotion, 6, 149–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Naveh-Benjamin, M. (1991). A comparison of training programs intended for different types of test-anxious students: Further support for an information-processing model. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 134–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nicholls, J. G. (1984). Achievement motivation: Concepts of ability, subjective experience, task choice, and performance. Psychological Review, 91, 328–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Nichols-Hoppe, K. T., and Beach, L. R. (1990). The effects of test anxiety and task variables on predecisional information search. Journal of Research in Personality, 24, 163–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Samson, I. G. (1958). The effects of anxiety, reassurance, and meaningfulness of material to be learned on verbal learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 56, 472–477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sarason, I. G. (1972). Test anxiety and the model who fails. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 22, 410–413.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sarason, I. G. (1973). Test anxiety and cognitive modeling. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 28, 58–61. Samson, I. G. (1978). The Test Anxiety Scale: Concept and research. In C. D. Spielberger and I. G. Sarason (Eds.), Stress and anxiety (Vol. 5, pp. 193–216 ). Washington, DC: Hemisphere.Google Scholar
  30. Samson, I. G. (Ed.). (1980). Test anxiety: Theory, research, and applications. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  31. Sarason, I. G. (1981). Test anxiety, stress, and social support. Journal of Personality, 49, 101–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Samson, I. G. (1984). Stress, anxiety, and cognitive interference: Reactions to tests. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 929–938.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Samson, I. G., Levine, H. M., Basham, R. B., and Samson, B. R. (1983). Assessing social support: The Social Support Questionnaire. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 127–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Samson, I. G., and Sarason, B. R. (1986). Experimentally provided social support. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 1222–1225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Samson, I. G., and Sarason, B. R. (1990). Test anxiety. In H. Leitenberg (Ed.), Handbook of social and evaluation anxiety. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  36. Samson, I. G., Sarason, B. R., Keefe, D. E., Hayes, B. E., and Shearin, E. N. (1986). Cognitive interference: Situational determinants and traitlike characteristics. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 215–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sarason, I. G., Samson, B. R., and Pierce, G. R. (1990). Anxiety, cognitive interference and performance. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 5, 1–18.Google Scholar
  38. Sarason, I. G., Sarason, B. R., and Pierce, G. R. (1993). Social support, cognitive interference, and performance. Unpublished manuscript, University of Washington, Seattle.Google Scholar
  39. Sarason, I. G., Sarason, B. R., and Shearin, E. N. (1986). Social support as an individual difference variable: Its stability, origins, and relational aspects. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 215–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sarason, I. G., and Stoops, R. (1978). Test anxiety and the passage of time. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 46, 102–109.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sarason, I. G., and Turk, S. (1983). Test anxiety and the direction of attention. Unpublished manuscript, University of Washington, Seattle.Google Scholar
  42. Schwarzer, R. (Ed.). (1986). Self-related cognitions in anxiety and motivation. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  43. Sedikides, C. (1992). Mood as a determinant of attentional focus. Cognition and Emotion, 6, 129–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wine, J. D. (1982). Evaluation anxiety: A cognitive-attentional construct. In H. W. Krohne and L. Laux (Eds.), Achievement, stress, and anxiety. Washington, DC: Hemisphere.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irwin G. Sarason
    • 1
  • Barbara R. Sarason
    • 1
  • Gregory R. Pierce
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyHamilton CollegeClintonUSA

Personalised recommendations