Title

The Role Of Goals And Goal Barriers In Predicting The Outcomes Of Intentional Actions In The Contexts Of Narrative Text

Author ORCID Identifier

Lillian Asiala: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7166-4504

Greta Chan: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0672-7185

Publication Title

Journal of Cognitive Psychology

ISSN

20445911

E-ISSN

2044592X

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Predictions about human behaviour can be influenced by the presence and status of goals. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of an active goal and barriers to that goal on predictions about outcomes experienced by agents. Participants read stories describing characters with goals. The extent that there were barriers to those goals was varied. Participants predicted what happens next in the story, both prior to and after barrier removal. There was support for a goal barrier hypothesis, where the conditions for predicting goal completion involved removing conditions that prevent a goal being achieved (Experiments 1 and 2). At the same time, unachieved goals were more accessible to working memory than completed goals, regardless of a barrier (Experiment 3). These results suggest that participants deliberately decided when it was appropriate to use goal information to predict outcomes of intentional actions conducted by the agents in the stories.

First Page

82

Last Page

92

Publication Date

11-17-2019

DOI

10.1080/20445911.2019.1690494

Keywords

event cognition, goals, Prediction

Department

Department of Psychology

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