[Dr Ynotna] To complete my research, I have uncovered a more complete
discussion of the global-slowing hypothesis:

In an interesting recent meta-analysis, Maylor and Rabbitt (1993) suggested
that alcohol's effects on human performance may not be process- or
stage-specific, but reflect a general, undifferentiated, cognitive slowing.
According to this view, performance is globally slowed by a constant
multiplicative fraction (b), such that the longer a process takes without
alcohol on board (a -), the more it will be slowed by alcohol (a +). In
summary: RTa+ = b b (RTa-). In this sense, the effects of alcohol are
determined simply by the duration of a process or stage--not by its function
or content--and attempts to map the effects of alcohol to specific cognitive
operations are essentially futile. This global-slowing hypothesis entails,
then, (i) that the function relating RTa+ to RTa- will be linear and
increasing; (ii) that the value of b will be significantly greater than 1.0;
and (iii) that all experimental factors which increase the complexity
(hence, duration) of a task or stage will interact with alcohol. In this
study we tested the global-slowing hypothesis directly using fixed set,
varied set and concurrent sets item-recognition paradigms. All three tasks
showed convincing additivity between alcohol and other key experimental
factors which affect response latency (e.g., setsize, response type); there
was no hint of any of the spectrum of significant interactions predicted by
the global-slowing hypothesis. A meta-analysis of varied set latencies,
analogous to Maylor and Rabbitt's, yielded a reasonably linear
alcohol/no-alcohol function, but with a slope constant (b) less than 1.0.
In all, the data provided little support for the global-slowing hypothesis.
However, the brandy was delicious.

Testing the global-slowing hypothesis: are alcohol's effects on human
performance process-specific or task-general?

Ryan C, Russo K, Greeley J.

Department of Psychology and Sociology, School of Behavioural Sciences,
James Cook University, Townsville, Australia colin.ryan@jcu.edu.au

Dr Ynotna comments:

In an interesting recent meta-analysis, Maylor and Rabbitt (1993) suggested
that alcohol's effects on human performance may not be process- or
stage-specific, but reflect a general, undifferentiated, cognitive slowing.

Therefore, extension of the Ater/Nairb/Xie thesis on global-slowing may
indirectly be related to brandy consumption. This theorem was widely studied and resulted on a
basic foundation of the theoretical hypothesis:  " I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a
frontal lobotomy "

 

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