University of Tasmania

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Self monitoring and attention

posted on 2023-05-26, 22:06 authored by McCarthy, Estelle
In this thesis the concept of attention is considered in relation to the process of self monitoring in the clinical situation. It is suggested that the empirical research that has been carried out in the self monitoring area could be usefully extended by the theoretical framework of the vigilance research area. It is further suggested that the signal detection theory methodology which is used in traditional vigilance experimentation may be a useful analysis for self monitoring data. In support of these suggestions a review of the self monitoring and vigilance areas of clinical and theoretical research is presented. Following this review the experimental work .is discussed. Six experiments were carried out during the period of this thesis research. Three of these experiments considered data obtained during self monitoring of motor responses and two the data obtained during self monitoring of verbal behaviour. The remaining experiment considered both verbal and motor responses. Data were also collected from more traditional detection tasks to allow comparisons to be made with self monitoring data and to highlight the similarity of the two tasks with regard to attentional factors. In all cases the data obtained from self monitoring tasks showed a similar pattern to that obtained from the detection tasks and both were consistent with previous data documented in the vigilance research literature. The use of signal detection theory analysis was shown to be a useful and sensible method for measuring the sensitivity of subjects to the occurrence of target behaviours and their willingness to report the behaviour. Sensitivity and criterion level were thus able to be assessed independently. The effects of different strategies including feedback, practice, stimulus discrimination and instructional set were investigated and the effect of each on sensitivity and criterion determined. It was found that the well researched methods of increasing signal sensitivity from the vigilance area can be applied directly to self monitoring tasks with similar results. The findings from this study have supported the use of the theoretical concepts of the vigilance research area in research on self monitoring processes as well as the use of signal detection theory methodology. The notion of attention has been shown to be an important factor in both the monitoring of self generated behaviour and the detection of externally generated signals. The research from the attention area has provided the basis for the proposal of an attentional model of self monitoring. This model describes self monitoring in terms of automatic and controlled attentional processes and the contribution of each to overall behaviour change. This model has important clinical applications for increasing the therapeutic effect of self monitoring during behaviour change interventions and maintaining the positive effects beyond the period of therapy. It will also enable the clinician to have a clearer understanding of the processes of self monitoring and provide ways in which this strategy can be used more effectively over a wider range of clinical situations.


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Copyright 1989 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 1990. Bibliography: leaves 131-142

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