Effects of Repetition and Foreknowledge in Task-Set Reconfiguration

Myeong Ho Sohn, Richard A. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


To examine the roles of executive control and automatic activation in task switching, we manipulated foreknowledge as well as task transitions. In Experiments 1 and 2, performance with foreknowledge was faster than performance with no foreknowledge, but the amount of switch cost did not depend on foreknowledge. This result suggests that switch costs primarily reflect persisting activation rather than inadequate preparation. In Experiment 3, switch cost was greater with foreknowledge about task transition alone than with foreknowledge about both task transition and identity, suggesting that foreknowledge about specific task identity did allow preparation for a switched task. We argue that task repetition and foreknowledge effects are independent. Although foreknowledge allows preparation for both repeated and switched tasks, repeating the same task has benefits over task switching regardless of foreknowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1445-1460
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language


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