Planning in Action: Interactivity Improves Planning Performance


Planning is an everyday activity that is extended in time and space and relies on an array of executive functions including self-control. We investigated the effects of interactivity and self-control on planning. Half of the participants first completed a video-viewing task requiring self-control of visual attention, whereas the other half completed the same task without the self-control constraint. Next half of the participants manipulated cards to complete their plan (high-interactivity condition); for the other half, plans were made with their hands down (low-interactivity condition). Planning performance was significantly better in the high- than in the low-interactivity conditions; however, the self-control manipulation had no impact on planning performance. An exploration of individual differences revealed that long-term planning ability and non-planning impulsiveness moderated the impact of interactivity on planning. These findings suggest that interactivity augments working memory resources and planning performance, underscoring the importance of an interactive perspective on planning research.

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