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Controlled Processes

Definition

Recall the last time you drove a car. For most people, driving is fairly automatic. People do not have to think about their driving but can instead allow their minds to ponder other issues, such as what to eat for dinner or what to do later. Controlled processes occur when drivers must pay active attention to the road and their driving, such as when a light suddenly turns red, another car cuts into traffic, or when they must figure out where to go.

Controlled processes are mental operations that are intentional, effortful, inefficient, and flexible. That they are intentional means they are under one's deliberate control. A love-struck student, for example, might intentionally choose to stay focused on his or her course readings rather than daydream ...

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