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Tenacious instructions : how to dismantle newly instructed task rules?

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Abstract
Humans excel in instruction following to boost performance in unfamiliar situations. We can do so through so-called prepared reflexes: Abstract instructions are instantly translated into appropriate task rules in procedural working memory, after which imperative stimuli directly trigger their corresponding responses in a ballistic, reflex-like manner. But how much control do we have over these instructed task rules when their reflexes suddenly lose their relevance? Inspired by the phenomenon of directed forgetting in declarative working memory, we here tested across four experiments whether the presentation of (implicit or explicit) task cancellation cues results in the directed dismantling of recently instructed task rules. Our findings suggest that-even when cancelation cues are actively processed-such dismantling does not occur (Experiment 1-3) unless the no-longer relevant task rules are replaced by a new set of rules (Experiment 4). These findings and their implications are discussed in the broader context of action control and working memory.
Keywords
action control, cognitive control, directed forgetting, instruction following, working memory, PROCEDURAL WORKING-MEMORY, COGNITIVE CONTROL, RESPONSE ACTIVATION, POWER, INHIBITION, SELECTION, INTERFERENCE, MECHANISMS, INTENTION, BINDING

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Abrahamse, Elger, et al. “Tenacious Instructions : How to Dismantle Newly Instructed Task Rules?” JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-GENERAL, 2022.
APA
Abrahamse, E., Braem, S., De Houwer, J., & Liefooghe, B. (2022). Tenacious instructions : how to dismantle newly instructed task rules? JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-GENERAL.
Chicago author-date
Abrahamse, Elger, Senne Braem, Jan De Houwer, and Baptist Liefooghe. 2022. “Tenacious Instructions : How to Dismantle Newly Instructed Task Rules?” JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-GENERAL.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Abrahamse, Elger, Senne Braem, Jan De Houwer, and Baptist Liefooghe. 2022. “Tenacious Instructions : How to Dismantle Newly Instructed Task Rules?” JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-GENERAL.
Vancouver
1.
Abrahamse E, Braem S, De Houwer J, Liefooghe B. Tenacious instructions : how to dismantle newly instructed task rules? JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-GENERAL. 2022;
IEEE
[1]
E. Abrahamse, S. Braem, J. De Houwer, and B. Liefooghe, “Tenacious instructions : how to dismantle newly instructed task rules?,” JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-GENERAL, 2022.
@article{8748529,
  abstract     = {{Humans excel in instruction following to boost performance in unfamiliar situations. We can do so through so-called prepared reflexes: Abstract instructions are instantly translated into appropriate task rules in procedural working memory, after which imperative stimuli directly trigger their corresponding responses in a ballistic, reflex-like manner. But how much control do we have over these instructed task rules when their reflexes suddenly lose their relevance? Inspired by the phenomenon of directed forgetting in declarative working memory, we here tested across four experiments whether the presentation of (implicit or explicit) task cancellation cues results in the directed dismantling of recently instructed task rules. Our findings suggest that-even when cancelation cues are actively processed-such dismantling does not occur (Experiment 1-3) unless the no-longer relevant task rules are replaced by a new set of rules (Experiment 4). These findings and their implications are discussed in the broader context of action control and working memory.}},
  author       = {{Abrahamse, Elger and Braem, Senne and De Houwer, Jan and Liefooghe, Baptist}},
  issn         = {{0096-3445}},
  journal      = {{JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-GENERAL}},
  keywords     = {{action control,cognitive control,directed forgetting,instruction following,working memory,PROCEDURAL WORKING-MEMORY,COGNITIVE CONTROL,RESPONSE ACTIVATION,POWER,INHIBITION,SELECTION,INTERFERENCE,MECHANISMS,INTENTION,BINDING}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  title        = {{Tenacious instructions : how to dismantle newly instructed task rules?}},
  year         = {{2022}},
}

Web of Science
Times cited: