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Resolution of conflicts between internal and external information sources on a time reproduction task: the role of perceived information reliability and attributional style

Ryan, L.J.; Henry, K.; Robey, T.; Edwards, J.A.

Acta Psychologica 117(2): 205-229

2004


ISSN/ISBN: 0001-6918
PMID: 15464014
DOI: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2004.06.005
Accession: 050191743

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Erroneous knowledge of results (KR) that conflicts with other internal or external information sources is preferentially used and misguides performance on motor and mental timing tasks. Buekers et al. [J. Motor Behavior 26 (1994) 27] hypothesized that KR is used preferentially because participants deem it to be the most reliable information source. We tested this hypothesis in two experiments. We manipulated subjective reliability of information and information content and demonstrated that both reliability and content are assessed and used. In a third experiment we examined whether attributional style affected the use of internal and external information. While KR was present, attributional style was unrelated to performance. However, when erroneous KR was withdrawn, participants who scored high in internal attributional style or high in controllability showed more accurate performance. Whereas evaluation of information quality is explicit, information provided by the KR, whether accurate or not, may influence both implicit and explicit aspects of the tasks.

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