Metacognitive predictions and strategic adaptation to distraction

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jacob M. Siri (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Dayna Touron

Abstract: Distracted driving accounts for a substantial portion of vehicular fatalities and injuries in the United States. The effects of in-vehicle conversations and cell phone usage have been linked to heightened risk for traffic violations and collisions. The divided attention associated with distraction differentially affects age groups, with a potentially greater risk for individuals older than 65 years old. Although drivers may not accurately predict how distraction affects their driving performance, it is possible that their strategic approaches to distractors are influenced by such predictions. Underestimating how a distractor might affect one’s ability to drive could lead to decreased adaptation, which may lead to a potentially fatal collision. On the other hand, overestimating the influence of distractors might lead to inefficient driving behaviors, such as driving excessively slow. The current study investigated the relationship between metacognitive predictions and strategic adaptation to distraction in both old adults (ages 60 to 75) and young adults (ages 17 to 30) through the use of concurrent laboratory tasks. The primary task was a visuospatial navigation task and the secondary task was a visual paced serial addition task (PVSAT). Participants completed each task on its own, and then completed two blocks in which the tasks were performed concurrently. The second of the dual task blocks allowed participants to strategically adapt the speed of the navigation task. In general, young adults performed better than older adults, and performance costs due to concurrent task engagement were evident for both age groups. Performance predictions for both young and older adults were reasonably calibrated to PVSAT performance, but not navigation performance. Both age groups adapted to the multitasking environment via speed selection, but speed selection was not predicted by metacognitive performance predictions.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
Attention, Distraction, Driving, Metacognition, Older Adults, Strategy
Cognition $x Age factors
Aging $x Psychological aspects
Ability, Influence of age on
Human multitasking
Distracted driving
Older automobile drivers

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