Reactivity and Confidence

Sometimes performing a self-report measure can cause an individual to either intentionally or unintentionally change their performance on a task, this is referred to as reactivity. Positive reactivity occurs when a self-report measure facilitates performance, whereas negative reactivity occurs when a self-report measure has a detrimental effect on performance. My research has looked at whether confidence ratings are reactive and whether individual differences factors moderate reactivity. So far, we have found that performing confidence ratings facilitates performance in high self-confidence participants, but impairs performance in low self-confidence participants. We’re now looking at the effect of confidence ratings on performance monitoring and the role of goal orientations.

Educational interventions

My work in this area has focused on both computerised and classroom based interventions. To date, I have evaluated two major interventions the first being a classroom based intervention called ‘Memory Mates’ that was based on training and disseminating metacognitive prompts within the classroom. The results so far have been promising with significant increases in standardised tests of spelling and mathematics. The second intervention explored the efficacy of action video game playing on the reading abilities of dyslexic children, again preliminary results have been promising. Follow me on twitter to keep up-to-date with the progress of these interventions.

Cognitive training

Cognitive training is a controversial intervention that has mostly equivocal support in the literature. My work has tried to understand how the effectiveness of cognitive training is affected by individual differences in personality and metacognition. I’m particularly interested how these factors play out in real world at-home cognitive training. I have worked with the ABC’s Active Memory program to collect and synthesise large databases of game play data and explore how these are related to demographic and survey data.