Open Access Repository

Self monitoring and attention

McCarthy, Estelle 1989 , 'Self monitoring and attention', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

[img] PDF (Whole thesis)
whole_McCarthyE...pdf | Request a copy
Full text restricted
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.


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.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:McCarthy, Estelle
Keywords: Vigilance (Psychology), Attention
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

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).

Additional Information:

Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 1990. Bibliography: leaves 131-142

Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page