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Component processes in task switching: cue switch costs are dependent on a mixed block of trials

LaPlume, A., Reimers, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-9497-0942 & Wiseheart, M. (2022). Component processes in task switching: cue switch costs are dependent on a mixed block of trials. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, doi: 10.1080/20445911.2022.2089153


People are slower when shifting than repeating tasks (switch cost). A considerable portion of the switch cost is due to the possibility of a shift in a mixed block where switches are possible (mixing cost), and to processing a cue that signals a task change (cue switch cost). We use an online sample (n = 12,533) and double cuing paradigm to examine the independent and interactive effects of cue switch costs and mixing costs. All effects were significant, with medium effects for cue changes (ηp2 = 0.06) and task changes (ηp2 = 0.10), a large effect for block context (ηp2 = 0.37), and a small block by cue interaction (ηp2 = 0.04) indicating that the role of the cue depends on the possibility of a switch. These findings offer empirical completeness by measuring the cue change in both blocks of a switching paradigm. The integrative approach quantifies how separable empirical components contribute to the overall switch cost.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Publisher Keywords: Task switching, cue switch cost, mixing cost, local switch cost, global switch cost
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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