Chapter 6. Structure, lexis, and time perspective

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The Cognition and Tradeoff Hypotheses account for task performance in different ways. The former sees task complexity as the driver for higher accuracy and structural complexity whereas the latter, within the constraints of limited attentional capacities, sees performance as being accounted for through the interaction of influences from task characteristics and task conditions. This chapter reports on a study which contrasts these two accounts, manipulating task structure (as an influence on primarily accuracy, but secondarily complexity), vocabulary difficulty (as a disruptor of smooth processing during performance), and time perspective (as a method of operationalising task complexity). The results do simultaneously produce raised accuracy and complexity, but this is best accounted for through the separate contribution of task structure and a there-and-then perspective (analysed differently to that within the Cognition Hypothesis), rather than through greater task complexity. Vocabulary difficulty did not have the predicted impact. The results are discussed in terms of the Tradeoff and Cognition Hypotheses.


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