Cognitive Failure

5688 Words Jan 28th, 2013 23 Pages

Cognitive failure is defined as absent-mindedness, that is, mistakes or errors people make because of slips of attention or memory failure (Reason and Mycielska, 1982). Their origin has been traced to memory problems, attention problems errors in the implementation of intentions or errors caused by distractions. It also involves clumsiness and problems in social interactions or problems in processing information. Mostly students are prone to experience cognitive failure.

If a person continues to experience cognitive failure, his or her brain may experience problems and difficulties in coping with the processing of thoughts. Mathematical ability is probably the most
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Cognitive Failure The researchers define cognitive failure as a cognitively based error that occurs during the performance of a task that the person is normally successful in executing. Cognitive failure encompasses execution lapses in: (a) attention (i.e. failures in perception), (b) memory (i.e. failures related to information retrieval), and (c) motor function (i.e. the performance of unintended actions, or action slips) (Martin, 1983 c.f. Wallace, J. Craig; Chen, Gilad, 2005). When cognitive failure occurs, people’s execution of a task is unintentionally affected. Though this failure was not caused by the lack of ability of a certain individual and the level of difficulty of the task, the lapses that we are talking about is when the ability is present and the task is incredibly simple (Reason, 1977). Cognitive failure somehow related to cognitive factors such as overload of short-term memory capacity, reduced attention and vigilance level, incidental learning, and divided attention (Broadbent, Cooper, Fitzgerald, and Parkes, 1982).

Throughout the years, researchers have identified several factors of cognitive failure based on the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (Broadbent et al., 1982). Matthews, Coyle, and Craig presented a seven factor regarding cognitive failures which are physical clumsiness, people's names, planned social interaction, language, lack of concentration, absentmindedness, and a final
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