Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

David Alan Washburn

Second Advisor

Michael James Beran

Third Advisor

John David Smith


The study of metacognition is rooted in the observation of behaviors under states of uncertainty (e.g., Smith et al., 1995). Individuals who are more responsive to uncertainty tend to show greater interference effects in a Stroop color-word naming task compared to those who are less responsive to uncertainty (Washburn, Smith, & Taglialatela, 2005). Individual differences in Stroop interference also have been shown to reflect relative differences in response competition (Washburn, 1994) and rule-maintenance ability (Kane & Engle, 2003). Why would individuals who respond to uncertainty most adaptively be characterized by the worst attention-control skills? The current study was designed to measure the individual contribution of sensitivity to response competition and rule maintenance ability to the pre-established relationship between Stroop interference and uncertainty responsiveness. Though participants performed as expected in both tasks, the previously reported relationship between Stroop interference and uncertainty responsiveness was not observed.