Special Collection Editors: Caitlin Mills, Nigel Bosch, and Anne Cleary
Initial submission of pre-registered studies:
Preregistered study submissions may be submitted beginning November 1, 2023 until January 31, 2024.
Decisions will be provided to authors 4-6 weeks following submission.
Please submit using the Special Collection article type, “Involuntary Cognition”
Final submission of completed project: Given the considerable variability in possible research designs, authors of registered reports should provide a clear expected timeline in their initial submission. The feasibility of this timeline will be evaluated by the reviewers and action editor who will then give an explicit deadline for final submission if the pre-registered study is approved.
Single/multi-study reports (i.e., completed studies) and theoretical, conceptual, or integrative reviews:
Initial submission of abstract (evaluated for fit): December 1, 2023
Please submit abstracts using the “Special Issue Abstract” article type
Target for initial decision on abstract: January 2024
Final submission of completed manuscript: March 31, 2024 (negotiable based on the nature of the project)
Caitlin Mills (University of Minnesota, USA)
Nigel Bosch (University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, USA)
Anne Cleary (Colorado State University, USA)
Jolie Wormwood, University of New Hampshire
Stephen Hutt, University of Denver
Vitomir Kovanovich, University of South Australia
Srecko Jocsimovic, University of South Australia
Julia Kam, University of Calgary
Diana Tamir, Princeton University
Chandra Sripada, University of Michigan
Aaron Kucyi, Drexel University
Timothy (Fred) McMahan, University of North Texas
Ryan Baker, University of Pennsylvania
Matthew Robison, University of Texas at Arlington
Fred McMahan, University of North Texas
Gene Brewer, Arizona State University
Jeffrey Wammes, Queen's University
A large portion of what we have come to learn about cognition has focused on “deliberate” mental states that are initiated through cognitive control. Conversely, the idea of involuntary or undirected cognition has become a research focus in recent years, including the study of task-unrelated thought, mind wandering, spontaneous thought, deja vu, rumination, as well as affective states that tend to arise without any deliberate intent. Not only are these states quite common, prior work suggests they may play an important role in many aspects of our everyday lives, including education, mental health, and navigation among others.
These involuntary mental states are inherently internal and often arise without any overt markers to human observers, making automated methods of measurement particularly appealing for expanding theory and practice across disciplinary lines. For example, AI can be used to automate “in-situ” measures of (and responses to) involuntary cognition, including the use of interaction data and/or low cost sensors that can help detect moments of task-unrelated thoughts and/or affective states. These can ultimately be used to help create “stealth assessments” to inform theory, while also enabling technologies (e.g., educational or semi-autonomous vehicles) to respond in real-time. Similarly, massive datasets (i.e., “big data”) and transformer models (i.e., large language models) can also help with understanding involuntary cognition, as they can uncover clinically relevant makers of states like unproductive rumination. Although these examples represent exciting new research lines that bridge AI with theory, they must be constructed in a way that prioritizes construct validity, reliability, and inclusiveness in order to contribute to broad theoretical perspectives that accurately describe the ways such mental states arise and unfold.
This special issue thus aims to bring together articles related to the uses of AI and large datasets in novel ways that help describe involuntary cognition. We are particularly interested in submissions that (a) detail the validation of an AI-informed measure of an involuntary mental state that helps expand/refine theory, and (b) provide evidence of how using AI-informed technology can be used to implement theory in practical settings.
There are also unique risks of using AI to build theory, and we are also interested in such perspectives and/or ways to mitigate these risks. For example, any AI-based solution may be constructed in a manner that is too specific (or overfit) to a single context, application, or particular sample of individuals – potentially creating biased results and theory that does not generalize well. Studies that address these issues are especially encouraged.
Submissions that are primarily focused on the technical aspects of the AI, rather than the contribution to understanding involuntary cognition will not be accepted. Please feel free to reach out to Caitlin Mills ([email protected]), Nigel Bosch ([email protected]), or Anne Cleary ([email protected]) about pre-submission inquiries.
Three types of submissions will be accepted for the special issue: (1) registered reports; (2) single- or multi-study reports; (3) theoretical, conceptual, or integrative reviews.
Submission Type Details:
(1) Single or Multi-Study Reports: For researchers who have already completed data collection and/or data analysis on a topic that would fit the theme of the special issue, finalized reports of quantitative and qualitative research will also be considered. These reports should be between 4,000 and 8,000 words of text (including abstract). The word limit does not include reference pages, tables, and figures.
Note that for this submission type there is an initial abstract-only deadline (see deadlines below). This will allow the editorial team to quickly assess the potential match of the report with the special issue. Reports that pass this initial stage will then be invited for a full submission.
(2) Registered reports (see https://cos.io/rr/ for additional information about registered reports): Authors will submit a proposal to address a key scientific question related to the topic. Such proposals should include: (i) a *brief* introduction that situates the question in the relevant scientific literature and elaborates the theoretical background; (ii) the core hypotheses to-be-tested; (iii) a detailed methodological plan including those related to participant sampling if applicable (with Ns ideally being justified by a power analysis, with a plan for exclusions, etc.); and (iv) a detailed analysis plan, with a particular focus on how the analysis will speak to the hypotheses discussed in part ii (i.e., the patterns of results that would be interpreted as supporting or failing to support the hypotheses). The full proposal should be no more than 2000 words.
The proposal will be rapidly reviewed by members of an ad-hoc editorial board who will provide comments on the expected theoretical and empirical contribution (see below) and the soundness of the methodological and analytic plans. The goal is to have these comments returned within 2 weeks of submission. Based upon the reviewer comments, the proposal will then either be accepted in principle (which may include the provision that some or all suggestions by reviewers be implemented) or rejected by the editorial team.
*Note that given the considerable variability in possible research designs, authors of registered reports should provide a clear expected timeline in their initial submission. The feasibility of this timeline will be evaluated by the reviewers and action editor who will then give an explicit deadline for final submission if the pre-registered study is approved.
If the proposal is accepted, authors will be asked to register their study on the Open Science Framework website and conduct the pre-registered study (for an introduction to preregistration see https://how-to-open.science/plan/preregistration/why or http://psych-transparency-guide.uni-koeln.de/preregistration.html). In accordance with pre-registration practices, data should not be collected until the study is accepted in principle.
If, following acceptance of the pre-registered proposal, a change in protocol is deemed necessary, this should be discussed with the relevant editor to determine if the proposed deviations require a new round of review. Changes made to approved study design without consultation with the editor may result in rejection of a final manuscript.
After completion of the study, a full manuscript should be submitted that presents and discusses the work. These reports should be between 4,000 and 8,000 words of text (including abstract). This work will be published regardless of outcome. However, note that the full manuscript will undergo peer review to ensure that it meets the journal standards (e.g., with respect to the discussion of the results, etc.). As part of this final manuscript, statistical analyses that go beyond those that were pre-registered are allowable (i.e., follow-up or post-hoc analyses that were suggested by the outcomes that were observed), but these should be clearly labeled as such in the manuscript. Upon final acceptance of the manuscript, data and analysis files should be posted to the Open Science Framework website.
(3) Theoretical, conceptual, or integrative reviews: Reviews should offer (a) a concise introduction in to the central thesis of the paper, (b) an overview of the theories and logics that are being examined in the paper, and (c) a clear presentation of key predictions or future research questions that would resolve existing controversies or fill important current gaps. Critically, reviews should not be simple “summaries” of existing data. Instead, papers need to have a clear warrant (i.e., a clear “knowledge claim” that is supported by theory, existing data, or both and that would serve to drive the field forward, rather than simply explaining where the field is at the moment).
Note that for this submission type there is an initial abstract-only deadline (see deadlines below). This will allow the editorial team to quickly assess the potential match of the report with the special issue. Reports that pass this initial review stage will then be invited for a full submission.
Technology, Mind, and Behavior is a Gold Open Access journal whereby articles are made open immediately upon publication, promoting broad access to the content. Publication costs are offset by article processing charges (APCs). The current APC for TMB is $1,200 USD. An article’s corresponding author is responsible for arranging such payment upon acceptance of a manuscript for publication. APCs are most often paid via support from an author’s grants, special funds including from one’s institution or department, contracts such as via the government, or one’s employer when the work was done as part of official governmental or corporate duties. If you are a resident in any European Union country, you will be expected to add Value-Added Tax (VAT) at the rate applicable in the respective country.
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In cases where an author’s research was not supported by the means outlined above, the author may apply for an APC waiver. Considerations for granting a discounted APC or full waiver will be whether an author is from a country classified by the World Bank as low or lower middle income or evidence that an author has exhausted the typical funding sources outlined in the previous paragraph. Waivers and discounts will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Authors wishing to apply for a waiver should complete the form available on the TMB website and wait up to two weeks for administrative handling. Corresponding authors should apply for the waiver upon submitting the manuscript through the peer review system. Applications are handled separately from the manuscript; the editorial team will not be made aware of any waiver requests or granted waivers. For questions regarding waivers, please contact Cheryl Johnson at [email protected].
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