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‘Writers’ shift between error correction and sentence composing: Competing processes and the executive function

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  • QUINLAN, Thomas
  • LONCKE, Maaike
  • LEIJTEN, Mariëlle
  • VAN WAES, Luuk

Abstract

Moment to moment, the skilled writer faces a myriad of potential issues. Different types of problem?solving compete for limited cognitive resources, with executive function presumably coordinating and thereby resolving this competition. In two experiments, we examined the coordination of two common writing tasks, editing and sentence composing. In Experiment 1, participants could approach the tasks in either order. For most items (88%), participants finished the sentence first, and less frequently (12%) corrected the error first. The error?first approach occurred significantly more often under the low?load condition than the high?load condition. For Experiment 2, we asked participants to adopt the less?preferred, error first approach. Success on completing the assigned task?order was affected by both factors, sentence load and error type. These results suggest executive function schedules tasks to mitigate direct competition over working memory resources.

Suggested Citation

  • QUINLAN, Thomas & LONCKE, Maaike & LEIJTEN, Mariëlle & VAN WAES, Luuk, 2009. "‘Writers’ shift between error correction and sentence composing: Competing processes and the executive function," Working Papers 2009006, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2009006
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    File URL: https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/irua/d4924a/081fb9dd.pdf
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    Keywords

    Working memory; Central executive; Executive function; Writing processes; Proofreading;

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