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Bodily Effort Enhances Learning and Metacognition: Investigating theRelation Between Physical Effort and Cognition Using Dual-Process Models of Embodiment

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ABSTRACT

Recent embodiment research revealed that cognitive processes can be influenced bybodily cues. Some of these cues were found to elicit disparate effects oncognition. For instance, weight sensations can inhibit problem-solvingperformance, but were shown to increase judgments regarding recall probability(judgments of learning; JOLs) in memory tasks. We investigated the effects ofphysical effort on learning and metacognition by conducting two studies in whichwe varied whether a backpack was worn or not while 20 nouns were to be learned.Participants entered a JOL for each word and completed a recall test. Experiment1 (N = 18) revealed that exerting physical effort by wearing abackpack led to higher JOLs for easy nouns, without a notable effect ondifficult nouns. Participants who wore a backpack reached higher recall scores.Therefore, physical effort may act as a form of desirable difficulty duringlearning. In Experiment 2 (N = 30), the influence of physicaleffort on JOL s and learning disappeared when more difficult nouns were to belearned, implying that a high cognitive load may diminish bodily effects. Thesefindings suggest that physical effort mainly influences superficial modes ofthought and raise doubts concerning the explanatory power of metaphor-centeredaccounts of embodiment for higher-level cognition.

No MeSH data available.


Mean judgments of learning (JOL s) for Experiment 1 (A) and meanretention score for Experiment 1 (B; maximum score of 20). JOLOL errorbars depict the standard error of the mean and were normalized using theprocedure described by Morey (2008). Retention error bars depict the standarddeviation.
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Figure 1: Mean judgments of learning (JOL s) for Experiment 1 (A) and meanretention score for Experiment 1 (B; maximum score of 20). JOLOL errorbars depict the standard error of the mean and were normalized using theprocedure described by Morey (2008). Retention error bars depict the standarddeviation.

Mentions: All analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were computed using aligned ranktransformation (Salter & Fawcett,1985) in order to perform nonparametric analyses. A 2 × 2 mixedrepeated-measures ANOVA (Physical Effort × Word Difficulty) revealed asignificant interaction between physical effort and word difficulty with respectto JOLs, F(1, 16) = 5.74, p = .029,d = 1.2, with physical effort increasing the JOLs for easywords more than for difficult ones (see Figure1A), supporting our hypothesis that superficial processing triggeredby easy words is more strongly affected by physical effort. In addition, therewas a main effect of physical effort, with higher JOLs being entered byparticipants wearing a backpack, F(1, 16) = 10.71,p = .005, d = 1.64. Also, the moredifficult words received significantly lower JOLs, F(1, 16) =33.79, p < .001, d = 2.91.


Bodily Effort Enhances Learning and Metacognition: Investigating theRelation Between Physical Effort and Cognition Using Dual-Process Models of Embodiment
Mean judgments of learning (JOL s) for Experiment 1 (A) and meanretention score for Experiment 1 (B; maximum score of 20). JOLOL errorbars depict the standard error of the mean and were normalized using theprocedure described by Morey (2008). Retention error bars depict the standarddeviation.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5383935&req=5

Figure 1: Mean judgments of learning (JOL s) for Experiment 1 (A) and meanretention score for Experiment 1 (B; maximum score of 20). JOLOL errorbars depict the standard error of the mean and were normalized using theprocedure described by Morey (2008). Retention error bars depict the standarddeviation.
Mentions: All analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were computed using aligned ranktransformation (Salter & Fawcett,1985) in order to perform nonparametric analyses. A 2 × 2 mixedrepeated-measures ANOVA (Physical Effort × Word Difficulty) revealed asignificant interaction between physical effort and word difficulty with respectto JOLs, F(1, 16) = 5.74, p = .029,d = 1.2, with physical effort increasing the JOLs for easywords more than for difficult ones (see Figure1A), supporting our hypothesis that superficial processing triggeredby easy words is more strongly affected by physical effort. In addition, therewas a main effect of physical effort, with higher JOLs being entered byparticipants wearing a backpack, F(1, 16) = 10.71,p = .005, d = 1.64. Also, the moredifficult words received significantly lower JOLs, F(1, 16) =33.79, p < .001, d = 2.91.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Recent embodiment research revealed that cognitive processes can be influenced bybodily cues. Some of these cues were found to elicit disparate effects oncognition. For instance, weight sensations can inhibit problem-solvingperformance, but were shown to increase judgments regarding recall probability(judgments of learning; JOLs) in memory tasks. We investigated the effects ofphysical effort on learning and metacognition by conducting two studies in whichwe varied whether a backpack was worn or not while 20 nouns were to be learned.Participants entered a JOL for each word and completed a recall test. Experiment1 (N = 18) revealed that exerting physical effort by wearing abackpack led to higher JOLs for easy nouns, without a notable effect ondifficult nouns. Participants who wore a backpack reached higher recall scores.Therefore, physical effort may act as a form of desirable difficulty duringlearning. In Experiment 2 (N = 30), the influence of physicaleffort on JOL s and learning disappeared when more difficult nouns were to belearned, implying that a high cognitive load may diminish bodily effects. Thesefindings suggest that physical effort mainly influences superficial modes ofthought and raise doubts concerning the explanatory power of metaphor-centeredaccounts of embodiment for higher-level cognition.

No MeSH data available.