Control used and control felt: Two sides of the agency coin

Cory A. Potts, Richard Alan Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Agency has been defined as the sense of ownership and control of our actions, and the metacognition of agency has now been examined in a number of studies. Here we examined the relations between task demands, the feeling of being in control, and the feeling of using control. As task demands increase, we might feel as if we use a lot of control while feeling little control over the task. It therefore seems possible that the amount of control one feels they have used and how much in control one feels are separable components of the metacognition of control. In two experiments, we manipulated task demands and assessed these two aspects of metacognition. The source of task demand differed for the two experiments. In Experiment 1, we manipulated task demands by varying the sizes of targets in an aiming task. As predicted, we found that reports of control used increased, while reports of control felt decreased, for more difficult aiming conditions. In Experiment 2, we found a similar relation using a different source of demand: response conflict. We connect these reports of control to previous investigations of task demand and agency, as well as prominent conceptions of cognitive control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAttention, Perception, and Psychophysics
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Numismatics
Emotions
Ownership
experiment
Metacognition
Coins
demand

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Sensory Systems
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

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title = "Control used and control felt: Two sides of the agency coin",
abstract = "Agency has been defined as the sense of ownership and control of our actions, and the metacognition of agency has now been examined in a number of studies. Here we examined the relations between task demands, the feeling of being in control, and the feeling of using control. As task demands increase, we might feel as if we use a lot of control while feeling little control over the task. It therefore seems possible that the amount of control one feels they have used and how much in control one feels are separable components of the metacognition of control. In two experiments, we manipulated task demands and assessed these two aspects of metacognition. The source of task demand differed for the two experiments. In Experiment 1, we manipulated task demands by varying the sizes of targets in an aiming task. As predicted, we found that reports of control used increased, while reports of control felt decreased, for more difficult aiming conditions. In Experiment 2, we found a similar relation using a different source of demand: response conflict. We connect these reports of control to previous investigations of task demand and agency, as well as prominent conceptions of cognitive control.",
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Control used and control felt : Two sides of the agency coin. / Potts, Cory A.; Carlson, Richard Alan.

In: Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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