IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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


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


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

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2009006. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joeri Nys). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.