Disclaimer: English Kinda Thing

The sole purpose of the "English Kinda Thing" is to document my attempts to correct my own mistakes in standard English usage and to share the resources I find. In no way do I attempt to teach nobody English through these blurbs--just as I intend not to teach nobody to be a neurotic and psychotic handicap in Ratology Reloaded or Down with Meds! :-)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Kuhl, Julius. (1987). Feeling versus being helpless: Metacognitive mediation of failure-induced performance deficits.

Kuhl, Julius. (1987). Feeling versus being helpless: Metacognitive mediation of failure-induced performance deficits. In F. E. Weinert & R. Kluwe (Eds.), Metacognition, motivation, and understanding (pp. 217-235). Hillsdale, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates.

In this chapter, the author introduced an explanation of learned helplessness-- the action control factor.

The role of selective attention: "... performance should be facilitated when attention is focused on action-related information.  Conversely, when attention focuses on state-related information, the performance of an intended action should be impaired.  The degree of state-orientation may mediate failure-induced performance deficits.  Subjects may be preoccupied, focusing on the state created by the failure experience, trying, for instance, to explain why they failed or trying to analyze their own emotional state...  A person who is preoccupied with analyzing his or her state may show impaired performance on any type of test, burn the dinner..." (p. 218)


Action control is considered as a metacognitive process for two reasons: (P. 221)
  1. It organizes and controls cognitive operations so as to maximizes the congruence between intention and performance.
  2. Action control relies heavily on knowledge about the effective of cognitive operations to achieve the objective.
"The degree of action-control aroused in a particular situation may vary between the two extremes called state-orientation and action orientation.  The following illustrates the differential patterns between people who are state-oriented and action-oriented.  What the charts showed were the rank correlations between the degree of intentional commitment and reported time spent on activities calculated for the state-orientation and action-orientation groups separately. Essentially, the action-orientation group do what they say.

The following chart depicts the metacognitive model of action-control... almost like

f(state-orientation)+f(action-orientation)=1 with 1 denoting capacity.

kind of connotation.  Though not quite the same, it reminds me of monitor and control as per Nelson & Narens (1990) and Shimamura (2008)... (unless this is also how the model should be read in Nelson & Narens (1990) and Shimamura (2008)?  Donno.)

p. 222

Of course, differential behavioral outcome might be observed as a result of the wrestling between the proneness to state- and action-orientation.  As was found in a study conducted on participants who underwent a hernia operation, state-oriented subjects did seem to engage in more state-related behavior while action-oriented subjects, action-related behavior.

p. 225

Action-control and learned helplessness

"According to this model, repeated exposure to uncontrollable outcomes first increases a (metacognitive) tendency towards action-orientation that is replaced by a tendency towards state-orientation when a perception of uncontrollability has developed... State-orientation may interfere with optimal cognitive functioning, especially when the task is complex enough to demand full attention..."

"in contrast to traditional helplessness theory, a distinction is made between motivation for the training task and motivation regarding the test task." (p. 229)

jump to finding of the study...

"significant performance deficit could be found only when there was reason to believe that subjects were state-oriented, either as a result of experimental induction of or as a result of a disposition towards state-orientation.  (p.232)

Implication... for someone showing "impaired performance in a variety of situations because he or she is too much concerned with explaining the problem.  An attributional therapy that reinforces this state-oriented attitude towards the problem may even aggravate the disorder.  An alternative approach may focus on helping the client shift his or her attention away from the possible causes of the problem, which may never be found with absolute certainty.  Instead the client should be encouraged to think about possible ways of changing the situation; giving up unattainable goals and focusing on new attainable goals.  The client may learn that thinking about change is more helpful than ruminating about the present state and its causes." (p. 233)

I like the notion of "learning to change" since taking the learning paradigm, it gives hope.

The author's recommendation also reminded me of the notion (plausible) that talk therapy might not work too well for people with thought disorder.  If you read through the mumble jumbles I have compiled since 2005 up to today, 2013, you might get a gist of how state-oriented I am... be it the contribution of neurosis or psychosis.  The never-ending self-monitoring and analyses... albeit the 99.9 % principle, I am almost 99.9% sure that ain't no body could have monitored and analyzed me as intensive as I have... in worlds shared by the others or not.  8-O lol

Could state-oriented analyses be paralyzing?  Sure... be it in depression or in psychosis.  Though from the perspective of psychosis... hate to put it this way, yet... unless you are a delusional, you can't possibly image how impairing it is to be engaging in the never-ending analysis on how do they get the update on my moves and thoughts, for instance. The worst thing is... the state is constantly getting updated and you are stuck in the state-oriented analyses because you are constantly analyzing new states... though the same... What makes it even worst is that... there is no nothing else but resorting to the meds... 

Yet, is the meds the only way to induce change to the situation?  Could there be additional means to help the psychotics find ways to think out of their state?  Or, what it be like... the thinking of cognitive states affords the backbone knowledge for the thinking of the metacognitive states.  What it be like... it's just the rite of passage... you can't escape the inevitable though you have the option to take the action to benefit from the inevitable propensity for state-orientation and use it to devise actions for change.

Though... the reality is that I think my years of working with my mental health professionals help big time... though undocumented and unrecorded (without proof)... I learn to see develop my ability to work with my psychotic symptoms both at the cognitive and metacognitive levels... When getting out of bound, they give me feedback to help me recalibrate.  Though... it has taken a whole lot of time and work, and I ain't got no way to prove to myself whether I really have learned something or not with n=1, a delusional, especially since you can't catch your delusions... at least not 100% (something else I am quite sure albeit the 99.9 % principle, again).

Therefore, the burden of proof (for my mumble jumbles) is and has never been on me... lol

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