An ironic effect of monitoring closeness.
ABSTRACT Most theories of goal pursuit underscore the beneficial consequences of monitoring progress towards goals. However, effects of affect labelling and dissociations between experience and meta-consciousness suggest that monitoring may not always facilitate goal pursuit. We predicted that in the case of pursuing interpersonal closeness, intense monitoring of progress would have a detrimental effect. We tested this hypothesis with the intimate conversation procedure, adapted from Aron, Melinat, Aron, Vallone, and Bator (1997). Participants in the closeness-monitoring condition asked themselves every five minutes in the course of a 45-minute interaction with a partner whether they felt any closer to their partner, whereas participants in the control condition monitored the room temperature. As predicted, intense monitoring interfered with achieving a feeling of closeness, as measured by sitting distance between pair members following the intimate conversation procedure. We discuss the possibility that monitoring would also be detrimental for achieving other goals that are internal states.
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ABSTRACT: A distinction is drawn between non-conscious (unexperienced), conscious (experienced), and meta-conscious (re-represented) mental processes. There is evidence for two types of dissociations between consciousness and meta-consciousness, the latter being defined as the intermittent explicit re-representation of the contents of consciousness. Temporal dissociations occur when an individual, who previously lacked meta-consciousness about the contents of consciousness, directs meta-consciousness towards those contents; for example, catching one's mind wandering during reading. Once meta-consciousness is triggered, translation dissociations can occur if the re-representation process misrepresents the original experience, such as when one verbally reflects on non-verbal experiences or takes stock of subtle or ambiguous experiences.Trends in Cognitive Sciences 09/2002; 6(8):339-344. · 16.01 Impact Factor