Authors:Matthew H. Iveson; Sergio Della Sala; Mike Anderson; Sarah E. MacPherson Pages: 1 - 10 Abstract: Publication date: May 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 176 Author(s): Matthew H. Iveson, Sergio Della Sala, Mike Anderson, Sarah E. MacPherson Goal maintenance is the process where task rules and instructions are kept active to exert their control on behavior. When this process fails, an individual may ignore a rule while performing the task, despite being able to describe it after task completion. Previous research has suggested that the goal maintenance system is limited by the number of concurrent rules which can be maintained during a task, and that this limit is dependent on an individual's level of fluid intelligence. However, the speed at which an individual can process information may also limit their ability to use task rules when the task demands them. In the present study, four experiments manipulated the number of instructions to be maintained by younger and older adults and examined whether performance on a rapid letter-monitoring task was predicted by individual differences in fluid intelligence or processing speed. Fluid intelligence played little role in determining how frequently rules were ignored during the task, regardless of the number of rules to be maintained. In contrast, processing speed predicted the rate of goal neglect in older adults, where increasing the presentation rate of the letter-monitoring task increased goal neglect. These findings suggest that goal maintenance may be limited by the speed at which it can operate.
Authors:Stefanie Schuch; Jana Zweerings; Patricia Hirsch; Iring Koch Pages: 11 - 22 Abstract: Publication date: May 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 176 Author(s): Stefanie Schuch, Jana Zweerings, Patricia Hirsch, Iring Koch Conflict adaptation is a cognitive mechanism denoting increased cognitive control upon detection of conflict. This mechanism can be measured by the congruency sequence effect, indicating the reduction of congruency effects after incongruent trials (where response conflict occurs) relative to congruent trials (without response conflict). Several studies have reported increased conflict adaptation under negative, as compared to positive, mood. In these studies, sustained mood states were induced by film clips or music combined with imagination techniques; these kinds of mood manipulations are highly obvious, possibly distorting the actual mood states experienced by the participants. Here, we report two experiments where mood states were induced in a less obvious way, and with higher ecological validity. Participants received success or failure feedback on their performance in a bogus intelligence test, and this mood manipulation proved highly effective. We largely replicated previous findings of larger conflict adaptation under negative mood than under positive mood, both with a Flanker interference paradigm (Experiment 1) and a Stroop-like interference paradigm (Experiment 2). Results are discussed with respect to current theories on affective influences on cognitive control.
Authors:Valerie Pelleck; Steven R. Passmore Pages: 23 - 31 Abstract: Publication date: May 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 176 Author(s): Valerie Pelleck, Steven R. Passmore Impaired performance while executing a motor task is attributed to a disruption of normal automatic processes when an internal focus of attention is used. What remains unclear is whether the specificity of internally focused task instructions may impact task performance. The present study assessed the implications of changing the attentional focus of novice and skilled golfers by measuring behavioural, neurophysiological and kinematic changes during a golf putting task. Over six blocks of ten putting trials each, attention was directed either externally (towards the target) or internally in one of two ways: 1) proximal (keeping the elbows extended and the hands gripping the putter); or 2) distal (keeping the weight evenly distributed between both legs) to the critical elements of the task. Results provided evidence that when novice participants use an internal focus of attention more closely associated with task performance that their: 1) execution; 2) accuracy; 3) variability of surface electromyography (sEMG) activity; and 4) kinematics of the putter movement are all adversely affected. Skilled golfers are much more resilient to changes in attentional focus, while all participants interpret a distal internal focus of attention similar to an external focus. All participants produced decreased activity in the muscle (tibialis anterior) associated with the distal (less task relevant) focus of attention even when the “internal” focus was on the lower extremity. Our results provide evidence that the skill level of the participant and the distance of the internal focus of attention from the key elements of a motor skill directly impact the execution, muscle activity, and movement kinematics associated with skilled motor task performance.
Authors:Nathan J. Wispinski; Grace Truong; Todd C. Handy; Craig S. Chapman Pages: 32 - 38 Abstract: Publication date: May 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 176 Author(s): Nathan J. Wispinski, Grace Truong, Todd C. Handy, Craig S. Chapman The study of human decision making has revealed many contexts in which decisions are systematically biased. These biases are particularly evident in risky decisions, characterized by choice outcomes that are probabilistic. One recently explored bias is the extreme-outcome rule: the tendency for participants to overvalue both the best and worst outcome when they learn about choice probabilities through trial and error (aka experience). Here we aimed to test whether the extreme-outcome rule arises in part from a disproportionate subjective weight on extreme values. Participants reached to choose between two options in a riskless task where each choice option always produced the same result. In contrast to the idea that the overvaluing of extreme outcomes results from participants overestimating the underlying choice probabilities (e.g. treating a 50% “worst” outcome as though it occurred 60% of the time), we find overvaluation of extreme outcomes even when they are not probabilistic. Particularly, we find strong evidence for overvaluation of the best outcome relative to all other outcomes in how participants enact their decision (reaction times and reaching movements), but no evidence for such overvaluation in participants' choice accuracy. Compared to the extreme-outcome rule, these results are more simply characterized in a framework where the “best” option is given a boost in processing relative to the “rest” of other available options.
Authors:Andrew R. Smith; Shanon Rule; Paul C. Price Pages: 39 - 46 Abstract: Publication date: May 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 176 Author(s): Andrew R. Smith, Shanon Rule, Paul C. Price People often estimate the average duration of several events (e.g., on average, how long does it take to drive from one's home to his or her office). While there is a great deal of research investigating estimates of duration for a single event, few studies have examined estimates when people must average across numerous stimuli or events. The current studies were designed to fill this gap by examining how people's estimates of average duration were influenced by the number of stimuli being averaged (i.e., the sample size). Based on research investigating the sample size bias, we predicted that participants' judgments of average duration would increase as the sample size increased. Across four studies, we demonstrated a sample size bias for estimates of average duration with different judgment types (numeric estimates and comparisons), study designs (between and within-subjects), and paradigms (observing images and performing tasks). The results are consistent with the more general notion that psychological representations of magnitudes in one dimension (e.g., quantity) can influence representations of magnitudes in another dimension (e.g., duration).
Authors:Gavin R. Price; Eric D. Wilkey; Darren J. Yeo Pages: 47 - 57 Abstract: Publication date: May 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 176 Author(s): Gavin R. Price, Eric D. Wilkey, Darren J. Yeo A growing body of research suggests that the processing of nonsymbolic (e.g. sets of dots) and symbolic (e.g. Arabic digits) numerical magnitudes serves as a foundation for the development of math competence. Performance on magnitude comparison tasks is thought to reflect the precision of a shared cognitive representation, as evidence by the presence of a numerical ratio effect for both formats. However, little is known regarding how visuo-perceptual processes are related to the numerical ratio effect, whether they are shared across numerical formats, and whether they relate to math competence independently of performance outcomes. The present study investigates these questions in a sample of typically developing adults. Our results reveal a pattern of associations between eye-movement measures, but not their ratio effects, across formats. This suggests that ratio-specific visuo-perceptual processing during magnitude processing is different across nonsymbolic and symbolic formats. Furthermore, eye movements are related to math performance only during symbolic comparison, supporting a growing body of literature suggesting symbolic number processing is more strongly related to math outcomes than nonsymbolic magnitude processing. Finally, eye-movement patterns, specifically fixation dwell time, continue to be negatively related to math performance after controlling for task performance (i.e. error rate and reaction time) and domain general cognitive abilities (IQ), suggesting that fluent visual processing of Arabic digits plays a unique and important role in linking symbolic number processing to formal math abilities.
Authors:Dariusz Asanowicz; Anna Marzecová Pages: 58 - 70 Abstract: Publication date: May 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 176 Author(s): Dariusz Asanowicz, Anna Marzecová The study examined how alerting and executive attention interact in a task involving conflict resolution. We proposed a tentative scenario in which an initial exogenous phasic alerting phase is followed by an endogenous tonic alerting phase, and hypothesized that these two processes may have distinct effects on conflict resolution. Phasic alerting was expected to increase the conflict, whereas tonic alerting was expected to decrease the conflict. Three experiments were conducted using different variants of the flanker task with visual alerting cues and varied cue-target intervals (SOA), to differentiate between effects of phasic alerting (short SOA) and tonic alerting (long SOA). The results showed that phasic alerting consistently decreased the efficiency of conflict resolution indexed by response time and accuracy, whereas tonic alerting increased the accuracy of conflict resolution, but at a cost in the speed of processing the conflict. The third experiment additionally showed that the effects of phasic alerting may be modulated by the psychophysical strength of alerting cues. Discussed are possible mechanisms that could account for the observed interactions between alerting and conflict resolution, as well as some discrepancies between the current and previous studies.
Authors:Lawrence E.M. Grierson; James W. Roberts; Arthur M. Welsher Pages: 71 - 77 Abstract: Publication date: May 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 176 Author(s): Lawrence E.M. Grierson, James W. Roberts, Arthur M. Welsher There is much evidence to suggest that skill learning is enhanced by skill observation. Recent research on this phenomenon indicates a benefit of observing variable/erred demonstrations. In this study, we explore whether it is variability within the relative organization or absolute parameterization of a movement that facilitates skill learning through observation. To do so, participants were randomly allocated into groups that observed a model with no variability, absolute timing variability, relative timing variability, or variability in both absolute and relative timing. All participants performed a four-segment movement pattern with specific absolute and relative timing goals prior to and following the observational intervention, as well as in a 24h retention test and transfers tests that featured new relative and absolute timing goals. Absolute timing error indicated that all groups initially acquired the absolute timing, maintained their performance at 24h retention, and exhibited performance deterioration in both transfer tests. Relative timing error revealed that the observation of no variability and relative timing variability produced greater performance at the post-test, 24h retention and relative timing transfer tests, but for the no variability group, deteriorated at absolute timing transfer test. The results suggest that the learning of absolute timing following observation unfolds irrespective of model variability. However, the learning of relative timing benefits from holding the absolute features constant, while the observation of no variability partially fails in transfer. We suggest learning by observing no variability and variable/erred models unfolds via similar neural mechanisms, although the latter benefits from the additional coding of information pertaining to movements that require a correction.
Authors:Jinjing (Jenny) Wang; Justin Halberda; Lisa Feigenson Pages: 78 - 84 Abstract: Publication date: May 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 176 Author(s): Jinjing (Jenny) Wang, Justin Halberda, Lisa Feigenson Nonhuman animals, human infants, and human adults all share an Approximate Number System (ANS) that allows them to imprecisely represent number without counting. Among humans, people differ in the precision of their ANS representations, and these individual differences have been shown to correlate with symbolic mathematics performance in both children and adults. For example, children with specific math impairment (dyscalculia) have notably poor ANS precision. However, it remains unknown whether ANS precision contributes to individual differences only in populations of people with lower or average mathematical abilities, or whether this link also is present in people who excel in math. Here we tested non-symbolic numerical approximation in 13- to 16-year old gifted children enrolled in a program for talented adolescents (the Center for Talented Youth). We found that in this high achieving population, ANS precision significantly correlated with performance on the symbolic math portion of two common standardized tests (SAT and ACT) that typically are administered to much older students. This relationship was robust even when controlling for age, verbal performance, and reaction times in the approximate number task. These results suggest that the Approximate Number System is linked to symbolic math performance even at the top levels of math performance.
Authors:Andreas Schmitt; Cees van Leeuwen; Thomas Lachmann Pages: 85 - 91 Abstract: Publication date: May 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 176 Author(s): Andreas Schmitt, Cees van Leeuwen, Thomas Lachmann In compound, hierarchical stimuli (also known as Navon figures), a Global Precedence Effect (GPE) can reliably be observed for both letters and non-letters. However, when presentation conditions sufficiently resemble those of reading, the GPE for letters has occasionally been found to disappear. We corroborate this effect in a study with a large group of participants. In addition, in-between two sessions, participants were trained in associating the non-letters with either phonological or non-phonological sounds. We reasoned that learning distinctive phonological associations might be akin to the acquisition of letter knowledge. This might eliminate the GPE also for the non-letters. However, the GPE persisted for the trained non-letters in both conditions. The large number of participants in this study revealed additional effects in the letter condition, which enabled further insights in the processing dissociation between letters and non-letter shapes.
Authors:Dario Krpan; Simone Schnall Pages: 1 - 12 Abstract: Publication date: April 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 175 Author(s): Dario Krpan, Simone Schnall A substantial amount of evidence shows that visual perception is influenced by forces that control human actions, ranging from motivation to physiological potential. However, studies have not yet provided convincing evidence that perception itself is directly involved in everyday behaviors such as eating. We suggest that this issue can be resolved by employing the dual systems account of human behavior. We tested the link between perceived distance to candies and their consumption for participants who were tired or depleted (impulsive system), versus those who were not (reflective system). Perception predicted eating only when participants were tired (Experiment 1) or depleted (Experiments 2 and 3). In contrast, a rational determinant of behavior—eating restraint towards candies—predicted eating for non-depleted individuals (Experiment 2). Finally, Experiment 3 established that perceived distance was correlated with participants' self-reported motivation to consume candies. Overall, these findings suggest that the dynamics between perception and behavior depend on the interplay of the two behavioral systems.
Authors:Esther J. Walker; Benjamin K. Bergen; Rafael Núñez Pages: 13 - 20 Abstract: Publication date: April 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 175 Author(s): Esther J. Walker, Benjamin K. Bergen, Rafael Núñez People use space in a variety of ways to structure their thoughts about time. The present report focuses on the different ways that space is employed when reasoning about deictic (past/future relationships) and sequence (earlier/later relationships) time. In the first study, we show that deictic and sequence time are aligned along the lateral axis in a manner consistent with previous work, with past and earlier events associated with left space and future and later events associated with right space. However, the alignment of time with space is different along the sagittal axis. Participants associated future events and earlier events—not later events—with the space in front of their body and past and later events with the space behind, consistent with the sagittal spatial terms (e.g., ahead, in front of) that we use to talk about deictic and sequence time. In the second study, we show that these associations between sequence time and sagittal space are sensitive to person-perspective. This suggests that the particular space-time associations observed in English speakers are influenced by a variety of different spatial properties, including spatial location and perspective.
Authors:Luigi Tamè; Alex Carr; Matthew R Longo Pages: 21 - 27 Abstract: Publication date: April 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 175 Author(s): Luigi Tamè, Alex Carr, Matthew R Longo Sensory input from and motor output to the two sides of the body needs to be continuously integrated between the two cerebral hemispheres. This integration can be measured through its cost in terms of processing speed. In simple detection tasks, reaction times (RTs) are faster when stimuli are presented to the side of the body ipsilateral to the body part used to respond. This advantage – the contralateral-ipsilateral difference (also known as the crossed-uncrossed difference: CUD) – is thought to reflect inter-hemispheric interactions needed for sensorimotor information to be integrated between the two hemispheres. Several studies have shown that non-informative vision of the body enhances performance in tactile tasks. However, it is unknown whether the CUD can be similarly affected by vision. Here, we investigated whether the CUD is modulated by vision of the body (i.e., the stimulated hand) by presenting tactile stimuli unpredictably on the middle fingers when one hand was visible (i.e., either the right or left hand). Participants detected the stimulus and responded as fast as possible using either their left or right foot. Consistent with previous results, a clear CUD (5.8ms) was apparent on the unseen hand. Critically, however, no such effect was found on the hand that was visible (−2.2ms). Thus, when touch is delivered to a seen hand, the usual cost in processing speed of responding with a contralateral effector is eliminated. This result suggests that vision of the body improves the interhemispheric integration of tactile-motor responses.
Authors:Bobby Azarian; George A. Buzzell; Elizabeth G. Esser; Alexander Dornstauder; Matthew S. Peterson Pages: 28 - 32 Abstract: Publication date: April 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 175 Author(s): Bobby Azarian, George A. Buzzell, Elizabeth G. Esser, Alexander Dornstauder, Matthew S. Peterson It is well established that certain social cues, such as averted eye gaze, can automatically initiate the orienting of another's spatial attention. However, whether human posture can also reflexively cue spatial attention remains unclear. The present study directly investigated whether averted neutral postures reflexively cue the attention of observers in a normal population of college students. Similar to classic gaze-cuing paradigms, non-predictive averted posture stimuli were presented prior to the onset of a peripheral target stimulus at one of five SOAs (100ms–500ms). Participants were instructed to move their eyes to the target as fast as possible. Eye-tracking data revealed that participants were significantly faster in initiating saccades when the posture direction was congruent with the target stimulus. Since covert attention shifts precede overt shifts in an obligatory fashion, this suggests that directional postures reflexively orient the attention of others. In line with previous work on gaze-cueing, the congruency effect of posture cue was maximal at the 300ms SOA. These results support the notion that a variety of social cues are used by the human visual system in determining the “direction of attention” of others, and also suggest that human body postures are salient stimuli capable of automatically shifting an observer's attention.
Authors:Tali Leibovich; Saja Al-Rubaiey Kadhim; Daniel Ansari Pages: 33 - 41 Abstract: Publication date: April 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 175 Author(s): Tali Leibovich, Saja Al-Rubaiey Kadhim, Daniel Ansari Can physical size affect number estimation? Previous studies have shown that physical size influences non-symbolic numerosity in comparison tasks (e.g. which of two dots is larger). The current study investigated the conditions under which physical size can affect numerosity estimation. We employed a line mapping task in order to avoid the context of comparison and the need to provide a verbal label to estimate a quantity. Adult participants were briefly presented with the digits 2–8 or groups of 2–8 dots in 3 different physical sizes and were asked to estimate the position of a presented numerosity on a vertical line from 0 to 10. Physical size affected number estimation only above the subitizing range (i.e., >4) and only for non-symbolic numbers (e.g. dot arrays). Presenting non-symbolic numbers as canonical arrangements (like on a game die) reduced the effect of the physical size in the counting range (5–9). Accordingly, we suggest that the effect of task-irrelevant physical size on performance is modulated by the ability of participants to provide an accurate estimate of number: when the estimated number is easier to perceive (i.e., subitizing range or canonical arrangements), the influence of the physical size is smaller compared to when it is more difficult to give an accurate estimate of number (i.e., counting range, random arrangement). By doing so, we describe the factors that modulate the effect of physical size on number processing and provide another example of the important role continuous properties, such as physical size, play in non-symbolic number processing.
Authors:Dilini K. Sumanapala; Laurel A. Fish; Alex L. Jones; Emily S. Cross Pages: 42 - 49 Abstract: Publication date: April 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 175 Author(s): Dilini K. Sumanapala, Laurel A. Fish, Alex L. Jones, Emily S. Cross Learning a new motor skill typically requires converting actions observed from a third-person perspective into fluid motor commands executed from a first-person perspective. In the present study, we test the hypothesis that during motor learning, the ability to discriminate between actions that have been observed and actions that have been executed is associated with learning aptitude, as assessed by a general measure of physical performance. Using a multi-day dance-training paradigm with a group of dance-naïve participants, we investigated whether actions that had been regularly observed could be discriminated from similar actions that had been physically practised over the course of three days, or a further set of similar actions that remained untrained. Training gains and performance scores at test were correlated with participants' ability to discriminate between observed and practised actions, suggesting that an individual's ability to differentiate between visual versus visuomotor action encoding is associated with general motor learning.
Authors:Lucile Burger; Kim Uittenhove; Patrick Lemaire; Laurence Taconnat Pages: 50 - 59 Abstract: Publication date: April 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 175 Author(s): Lucile Burger, Kim Uittenhove, Patrick Lemaire, Laurence Taconnat Efficient execution of strategies is crucial to memory performance and to age-related differences in this performance. Relative strategy complexity influences memory performance and aging effects on memory. Here, we aimed to further our understanding of the effects of relative strategy complexity by looking at the role of cognitive control functions and the time-course of the effects of relative strategy complexity. Thus, we manipulated inter-stimulus intervals (ISI) and assessed executive functions. Results showed that (a) performance as a function of the relative strategy difficulty of the current and previous trial was modulated by ISI, (b) these effects were modulated by inhibition capacities, and (c) significant age differences were found in the way ISI modulates relative strategy difficulty. These findings have important implications for understanding the relationships between aging, executive control, and strategy execution in episodic memory.
Authors:Adam C Harvey; Aldert Vrij; Sharon Leal; Marcus Lafferty; Galit Nahari Pages: 1 - 8 Abstract: Publication date: March 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 174 Author(s): Adam C Harvey, Aldert Vrij, Sharon Leal, Marcus Lafferty, Galit Nahari Purpose The Verifiability Approach (VA) is verbal lie detection tool that has shown promise when applied to insurance claims settings. This study examined the effectiveness of incorporating a Model Statement comprised of checkable information to the VA protocol for enhancing the verbal differences between liars and truth tellers. Method The study experimentally manipulated supplementing (or withholding) the VA with a Model Statement. It was hypothesised that such a manipulation would (i) encourage truth tellers to provide more verifiable details than liars and (ii) encourage liars to report more unverifiable details than truth tellers (compared to the no model statement control). As a result, it was hypothesized that (iii) the model statement would improve classificatory accuracy of the VA. Participants reported 40 genuine and 40 fabricated insurance claim statements, in which half the liars and truth tellers where provided with a model statement as part of the VA procedure, and half where provide no model statement. Results All three hypotheses were supported. In terms of accuracy, the model statement increased classificatory rates by the VA considerably from 65.0% to 90.0%. Conclusion Providing interviewee’s with a model statement prime consisting of checkable detail appears to be a useful refinement to the VA procedure.
Authors:Lauren D. Grant; Daniel H. Weissman Pages: 9 - 16 Abstract: Publication date: March 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 174 Author(s): Lauren D. Grant, Daniel H. Weissman Prior findings suggest that coping with distraction relies on cognitive control processes that increase attention to task-relevant processing and/or decrease attention to task-irrelevant processing. In line with this view, the size of the congruency effect in unimodal Stroop-like tasks, a popular measure of distraction, is typically reduced after more distracting incongruent trials relative to after less distracting congruent trials. It remains unclear, however, whether, and under what conditions, the control processes underlying this congruency sequence effect (CSE) minimize cross-modal distraction. The contingent attentional capture hypothesis predicts a cross-modal CSE when a distracter possesses a target-defining feature. In contrast, the perceptual conflict hypothesis predicts a cross-modal CSE when there is perceptual conflict between a distracter and a target. To distinguish between these hypotheses, we conducted two experiments wherein an auditory distracter word preceded a visual target that appeared in one of two formats (i.e., word or arrow). We observed robust, cross-modal CSEs. Moreover, the pattern of CSEs that we observed was more consistent with the contingent attentional capture hypothesis than with the perceptual conflict hypothesis. These findings reveal a novel attentional mechanism for minimizing cross-modal distraction.
Authors:Wei Liu; Zhi-Jun Zhang; Ya-Jun Zhao; Bing-Chen Li; Miao Wang Pages: 17 - 30 Abstract: Publication date: March 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 174 Author(s): Wei Liu, Zhi-Jun Zhang, Ya-Jun Zhao, Bing-Chen Li, Miao Wang This study investigated the mechanisms of the numerosity coding of random and regular dot distribution patterns. Experiment 1 revealed that connectedness significantly affected the numerosity perception of randomly distributed dots, and two adjacent dots were considered to be one numeral unit when connected via lines. The connectedness effect was much weaker on the numerosity perception of regularly distributed dots in vertical or horizontal queues and was absent in the perception of dots in diagonal queues. Experiment 2 demonstrated that randomly distributed adaptors induced a stronger effect of adaptation compared with regular adaptors when random dots after adaptation were used to test participants' numerosity perception. Experiment 3 found that the change in stimulus orientation has no effect on adaptation for random patterns. However, for regular patterns, adapting stimuli with an orientation identical to the tests caused stronger aftereffects compared with those with a different orientation. In Experiment 4, when random adaptors were presented in one eye of a participant, the adaptation aftereffect was shown to exist in both the exposed and un-exposed eyes (binocular transfer), whereas the aftereffect of regular adaptors remained only in the exposed eye (monocular transfer). We interpret that distinct mechanisms might control the numerosity processing of randomly and regularly distributed dots. Generic numerosity processing seems to be automatically inhibited based on the coding of regular patterns. The absence of numeral unit individuation, which is coded at a higher visual-processing level, might play an important role in this inhibition.
Authors:David Dignath; Markus Janczyk; Andreas B. Eder Pages: 31 - 39 Abstract: Publication date: March 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 174 Author(s): David Dignath, Markus Janczyk, Andreas B. Eder According to theoretical accounts of cognitive control, conflict between competing responses is monitored and triggers post conflict behavioural adjustments. Some models proposed that conflict is detected as an affective signal. While the conflict monitoring theory assumed that conflict is registered as a negative valence signal, the adaptation by binding model hypothesized that conflict provides a high arousal signal. The present research induced phasic affect in a Simon task with presentations of pleasant and unpleasant pictures that were high or low in arousal. If conflict is registered as an affective signal, the presentation of a corresponding affective signal should potentiate post conflict adjustments. Results did not support the hypothesis, and Bayesian analyses corroborated the conclusion that phasic affects do not influence post conflict behavioural adjustments in the Simon task.
Authors:Tony Thomas; Meera Mary Sunny Pages: 40 - 47 Abstract: Publication date: March 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 174 Author(s): Tony Thomas, Meera Mary Sunny Many recent studies have reported altered visual processing near the hands. However, there is no definitive agreement about the mechanisms responsible for this effect. One viewpoint is that the effect is predominantly attentional while others argue for the role of pre-attentive perceptual differences in the manifestation of the hand-proximity effect. However, in most of the studies pre-attentional and attentional effects have been conflated. We argue that it is important to dissociate the effect of hand proximity on perception and attention to better theorize and understand how visual processing is altered near the hands. We report two experiments using a visual search task where participants completed a visual search task with their hands either on the monitor or on their lap. When on the monitor, the target could appear near the hand or farther away. In experiment 1, a letter search task showed steeper search slope near the hand suggesting slower attentional disengagement. However, the intercept was smaller in the near hand condition suggesting faster perceptual processing. These results were also replicated in experiment 2 with a conjunction search task with target present and absent conditions and 4 set sizes. The results suggest that there are dissociable effects of hand proximity on perception and attention. Importantly, the pre-attentive advantage of hand proximity does not translate to attentional benefit, but a processing cost. The results of experiment 2 additionally indicate that the steeper slope does not arise from any spatial biases in how search proceeds, but an indicator of slower attentional processing near the hands. The results also suggest that the effect of hand proximity on attention is not spatially graded whereas its effect on perceptuo-motor processes seems to be.
Authors:Nicolas Gauvrit; Fernando Soler-Toscano; Alessandro Guida Pages: 48 - 53 Abstract: Publication date: March 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 174 Author(s): Nicolas Gauvrit, Fernando Soler-Toscano, Alessandro Guida In two experiments, Friedenberg and Liby (2016) studied how a diversity of complexity estimates such as density, number of blocks, GIF compression rate and edge length impact the perception of beauty of semi-random two-dimensional patterns. They concluded that aesthetics ratings are positively linked with GIF compression metrics and edge length, but not with the number of blocks. They also found an inverse U-shaped link between aesthetic judgments and density. These mixed results originate in the variety of metrics used to estimate what is loosely called “complexity” in psychology and indeed refers to conflicting notions. Here, we reanalyze their data adding two more conventional and normative mathematical measures of complexity: entropy and algorithmic complexity. We show that their results can be interpreted as an aesthetic preference for low redundancy, balanced patterns and “crooked” figures, but not for high algorithmic complexity. We conclude that participants tend to have a preference for some types of complexity, but not for all. These findings may help understand divergent results in the study of perceived beauty and complexity, and illustrate the need to specify the notion of complexity used in psychology. The field would certainly benefit from a precise taxonomy of complexity measures.
Authors:Mohamad El Haj; Jean-Louis Nandrino; Pascal Antoine; Muriel Boucart; Quentin Lenoble Pages: 54 - 58 Abstract: Publication date: March 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 174 Author(s): Mohamad El Haj, Jean-Louis Nandrino, Pascal Antoine, Muriel Boucart, Quentin Lenoble This study assessed whether specific eye movement patterns are observed during emotional autobiographical retrieval. Participants were asked to retrieve positive, negative and neutral memories while their scan path was recorded by an eye-tracker. Results showed that positive and negative emotional memories triggered more fixations and saccades but shorter fixation duration than neutral memories. No significant differences were observed between emotional and neutral memories for duration and amplitude of saccades. Positive and negative retrieval triggered similar eye movement (i.e., similar number of fixations and saccades, fixation duration, duration of saccades, and amplitude of saccades). Interestingly, the participants reported higher visual imagery for emotional memories than for neutral memories. The findings demonstrate similarities and differences in eye movement during retrieval of neutral and emotional memories. Eye movement during autobiographical retrieval seems to be triggered by the creation of visual mental images as the latter are indexed by autobiographical reconstruction.
Authors:Nathaniel J.S. Ashby; Emmanouil Konstantinidis; Eldad Yechiam Pages: 59 - 67 Abstract: Publication date: March 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 174 Author(s): Nathaniel J.S. Ashby, Emmanouil Konstantinidis, Eldad Yechiam The rate of selecting different options in the decisions-from-feedback paradigm is commonly used to measure preferences resulting from experiential learning. While convergence to a single option increases with experience, some variance in choice remains even when options are static and offer fixed rewards. Employing a decisions-from-feedback paradigm followed by a policy-setting task, we examined whether the observed variance in choice is driven by factors related to the paradigm itself: Continued exploration (e.g., believing options are non-stationary) or exploitation of perceived outcome patterns (i.e., a belief that sequential choices are not independent). Across two studies, participants showed variance in their choices, which was related (i.e., proportional) to the policies they set. In addition, in Study 2, participants' reported under-confidence was associated with the amount of choice variance in later choices and policies. These results suggest that variance in choice is better explained by participants lacking confidence in knowing which option is better, rather than methodological artifacts (i.e., exploration or failures to recognize outcome independence). As such, the current studies provide evidence for the decisions-from-feedback paradigm's validity as a behavioral research method for assessing learned preferences.
Authors:Hanna Fleig; Thorsten Meiser; Florence Ettlin; Jan Rummel Pages: 68 - 79 Abstract: Publication date: March 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 174 Author(s): Hanna Fleig, Thorsten Meiser, Florence Ettlin, Jan Rummel Pseudocontingencies denote contingency estimates inferred from base rates rather than from cell frequencies. We examined the role of statistical numeracy for effects of such fallible but adaptive inferences on choice behavior. In Experiment 1, we provided information on single observations as well as on base rates and tracked participants' eye movements. In Experiment 2, we manipulated the availability of information on cell frequencies and base rates between conditions. Our results demonstrate that a focus on base rates rather than cell frequencies benefits pseudocontingency effects. Learners who are more proficient in (conditional) probability calculation prefer to rely on cell frequencies in order to judge contingencies, though, as was evident from their gaze behavior. If cell frequencies are available in summarized format, they may infer the true contingency between options and outcomes. Otherwise, however, even highly numerate learners are susceptible to pseudocontingency effects.
Authors:J.A. Stone; I.W. Maynard; J.S. North; D. Panchuk; K. Davids Pages: 80 - 88 Abstract: Publication date: March 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 174 Author(s): J.A. Stone, I.W. Maynard, J.S. North, D. Panchuk, K. Davids Dynamic interceptive actions are performed under severe spatial and temporal constraints. Here, behavioral processes underpinning anticipation in one-handed catching were examined using novel technology to implement a spatial and temporal occlusion design. Video footage of an actor throwing a ball was manipulated to create four temporal and five spatial occlusion conditions. Data from twelve participants' hand kinematics and gaze behaviors were recorded while attempting to catch a projected ball synchronized with the video footage. Catching performance decreased with earlier occlusion of the footage. Movement onset of the catching hand and initiation of visual ball tracking emerged earlier when footage of the thrower was occluded at a later time point in the throwing action. Spatial occlusion did not affect catching success, although movement onset emerged later when increased visual information of the actor was occluded. Later movement onset was countered by greater maximum velocity of the catching hand. Final stages of action (e.g., grasping action of the hand) remained unchanged across both spatial and temporal conditions suggesting that later phases of the action were organized using ball flight information. Findings highlighted the importance of maintaining information-movement coupling during performance of interceptive actions, since movement behaviors were continuously (re)organized using kinematic information from a thrower's actions and ball flight information.
Authors:Andrew B. Slifkin; Jeffrey R. Eder Pages: 89 - 100 Abstract: Publication date: March 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 174 Author(s): Andrew B. Slifkin, Jeffrey R. Eder According to dominant theories of motor control, speed and accuracy are optimized when, on the average, movement endpoints are located at the target center and when the variability of the movement endpoint distributions is matched to the width of the target (viz., Meyer, Abrams, Kornblum, Wright & Smith, 1988). The current study tested those predictions. According to the speed-accuracy trade-off, expanding the range of variability to the amount permitted by the limits of the target boundaries allows for maximization of movement speed while centering the distribution on the target center prevents movement errors that would have occurred had the distribution been off center. Here, participants (N =20) were required to generate 100 consecutive targeted hand movements under each of 15 unique conditions: There were three movement amplitude requirements (80, 160, 320mm) and within each there were five target widths (5, 10, 20, 40, 80mm). According to the results, it was only at the smaller target widths (5, 10mm) that movement endpoint distributions were centered on the target center and the range of movement endpoint variability matched the range specified by the target boundaries. As target width increased (20, 40, 80mm), participants increasingly undershot the target center and the range of movement endpoint variability increasingly underestimated the variability permitted by the target region. The degree of target center undershooting was strongly predicted by the difference between the size of the target and the amount of movement endpoint variability, i.e., the amount of unused space in the target. The results suggest that participants have precise knowledge of their variability relative to that permitted by the target, and they use that knowledge to systematically reduce the travel distance to targets. The reduction in travel distance across the larger target widths might have resulted in greater cost savings than those associated with increases in speed.
Authors:Cary R. Stothart; Timothy J. Wright; Daniel J. Simons; Walter R. Boot Pages: 101 - 105 Abstract: Publication date: February 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 173 Author(s): Cary R. Stothart, Timothy J. Wright, Daniel J. Simons, Walter R. Boot We sometimes fail to notice unexpected objects or events when our attention is directed elsewhere, a phenomenon called inattentional blindness. We explored whether unexpected objects that shared the color of consequential objects would be noticed more often. In three pre-registered experiments, participants played a custom video game in which they avoided both low- and high-cost missiles (Experiment 1 and 2) or tried to hit rewarding missiles while avoiding costly ones (Experiment 3). After participants had played the game for about 8min, an unexpected object moved across the screen. Although participants selectively avoided more costly missiles when playing, they were no more likely to notice an unexpected object when its color was associated with greater costs. Apparently, people are no more likely to notice unexpected objects that are associated with negative consequences. Future research should examine whether objects that are themselves consequential are noticed more frequently.
Authors:Jeffrey Schaffert; Chi-Mei Lee; Rebecca Neill; Jin Bo Pages: 106 - 115 Abstract: Publication date: February 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 173 Author(s): Jeffrey Schaffert, Chi-Mei Lee, Rebecca Neill, Jin Bo The current study examined the augmentation of error feedback on visuomotor adaptability in older adults with varying degrees of cognitive decline (assessed by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment; MoCA). Twenty-three participants performed a center-out computerized visuomotor adaptation task when the visual feedback of their hand movement error was presented in a regular (ratio=1:1) or enhanced (ratio=1:2) error feedback schedule. Results showed that older adults with lower scores on the MoCA had less adaptability than those with higher MoCA scores during the regular feedback schedule. However, participants demonstrated similar adaptability during the enhanced feedback schedule, regardless of their cognitive ability. Furthermore, individuals with lower MoCA scores showed larger after-effects in spatial control during the enhanced schedule compared to the regular schedule, whereas individuals with higher MoCA scores displayed the opposite pattern. Additional neuro-cognitive assessments revealed that spatial working memory and processing speed were positively related to motor adaptability during the regular scheduled but negatively related to adaptability during the enhanced schedule. We argue that individuals with mild cognitive decline employed different adaptation strategies when encountering enhanced visual feedback, suggesting older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) may benefit from enhanced visual error feedback during sensorimotor adaptation.
Authors:Sylvie Droit-Volet; Panos Trahanias; Michail Maniadakis Pages: 116 - 121 Abstract: Publication date: February 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 173 Author(s): Sylvie Droit-Volet, Panos Trahanias, Michail Maniadakis This study investigated relations between judgments of passage of time and judgments of long durations in everyday life with an experience sampling method. Several times per day, the participants received an alert via mobile phone. On each alert, at the same time as reporting their experience of the passage of time, the participants also estimated durations, between 3 and 33s in Experiment 1, and between 2 and 8min in Experiment 2. The participants' affective states and the difficulty and attentional demands of their current activity were also assessed. The results replicated others showing that affective states and the focus of attention on current activity are significant predictors of individual differences in passage-of-time judgments. In addition, the passage-of-time judgments were significantly related to the duration judgments but only for long durations of several minutes.
Authors:Karina Hamamouche; Laura Niemi Sara Cordes Abstract: Publication date: June 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 177 Author(s): Karina A. Hamamouche, Laura Niemi, Sara Cordes Humans prioritize the processing of threats over neutral stimuli; thus, not surprisingly, the presence of threats has been shown to alter performance on both perceptual and cognitive tasks. Yet whether the quantification process is disrupted in the presence of threat is unknown. In three experiments, we examined numerical estimation and discrimination abilities in adults in the context of threatening (spiders) and non-threatening (e.g., flowers) stimuli. Results of the numerical estimation task (Experiment 1) showed that participants underestimated the number of threatening relative to neutral stimuli. Additionally, numerical discrimination data reveal that participants' abilities to discriminate between the number of entities in two arrays were worsened when the arrays consisted of threatening entities versus neutral entities (Experiment 2). However, discrimination abilities were enhanced when threatening content was presented immediately before neutral dot arrays (Experiment 3). Together, these studies suggest that threats impact our processing of visual numerosity via changes in attention to numerical stimuli, and that the nature of the threat (intrinsic or extrinsic to the stimulus) is vital in determining the direction of this impact. Intrinsic threat content in stimuli impedes its own quantification; yet threat that is extrinsic to the sets to be enumerated enhances numerical processing for subsequently presented neutral stimuli.
Authors:Maria Augustinova; Laetitia Silvert; Nicolas Spatola; Ludovic Ferrand Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 April 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica Author(s): Maria Augustinova, Laetitia Silvert, Nicolas Spatola, Ludovic Ferrand The aim of this paper is to extend the so-called semantic Stroop paradigm (Neely & Kahan, 2001) – which already successfully distinguishes between the contribution of the semantic vs. response conflict to Stroop interference – so that it can take account of and capture the separate contribution of task conflict. In line with this idea, the Stroop interference observed using the aforementioned paradigm with both short and long RSIs (500 vs. 2000ms) did indeed reflect the specific contribution of the task, semantic and response conflicts. However, the contribution of task conflict (as opposed to the semantic and response conflicts) failed to reach significance when the semantic Stroop paradigm was administered with manual (Experiment 1) as opposed to vocal responses (Experiment 2). These experiments further tested the extent to which the specific contribution of the different conflicts can be influenced by the increased cognitive control induced by a short (vs. long) RSI. The corresponding empirical evidence runs contrary to the assumption that the reduction of overall Stroop interference by a short (vs. long) RSI is due to the reduced contribution of the task (Parris, 2014) and/or semantic (De Jong, Berendsen, & Cools, 1999) conflicts. Indeed, in neither experiment was the contribution of these conflicts reduced by a short RSI. In both experiments, this manipulation only reduced the contribution of the response conflict to the overall Stroop interference (e.g., Augustinova & Ferrand, 2014b). Thus these different results clearly indicate that Stroop interference is a composite phenomenon involving both automatic and controlled processes. The somewhat obvious conclusion of this paper is that these processes are more successfully integrated within multi-stage accounts than within the historically favored single-stage response competition accounts that still dominate current psychological research and practice.
Authors:Kobe Desender Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 March 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica Author(s): Kobe Desender When performing a conflict task, performance is typically worse on trials with conflict between two responses (i.e., incongruent trials) compared to when there is no conflict (i.e., congruent trials), a finding known as the congruency effect. The congruency effect is reduced when the proportion of incongruent trials is high, relative to when most of the trials are congruent (i.e., the proportion congruency effect). In the current work, it was tested whether different kinds of instructions can be used to induce a proportion congruency effect, while holding the actual proportion of congruent trials constant. Participants were instructed to strategically use the (invalid) information that most of the trials would be congruent versus incongruent, or they were told to adopt a liberal versus a conservative response threshold. All strategies effectively altered the size of the congruency effect relative to baseline, although in terms of statistical significance the effect was mostly limited to the error rates. A diffusion-model analysis of the data was partially consistent with the hypothesis that both types of instructions induced a proportion congruency effect by means of different underlying mechanisms.
Authors:Nabil Hasshim; Benjamin A. Parris Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 March 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica Author(s): Nabil Hasshim, Benjamin A. Parris The response set effect refers to the finding that an irrelevant incongruent colour-word produces greater interference when it is one of the response options (referred to as a response set trial), compared to when it is not (a non-response set trial). Despite being a key effect for models of selective attention, the magnitude of the effect varies considerably across studies. We report two within-subjects experiments that tested the hypothesis that presentation format modulates the magnitude of the response set effect. Trial types (e.g. response set, non-response set, neutral) were either presented in separate blocks (pure) or in blocks containing trials from all conditions presented randomly (mixed). In the first experiment we show that the response set effect is substantially reduced in the mixed block context as a result of a decrease in RTs to response set trials. By demonstrating the modulation of the response set effect under conditions of trial type mixing we present evidence that is difficult for models of the effect based on strategic, top-down biasing of attention to explain. In a second experiment we tested a stimulus-driven account of the response set effect by manipulating the number of colour-words that make up the non-response set of distractors. The results show that the greater the number of non-response set colour concepts, the smaller the response set effect. Alternative accounts of the data and its implications for research debating the automaticity of reading are discussed.
Authors:William Saban; Shai Gabay; Eyal Kalanthroff Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 March 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica Author(s): William Saban, Shai Gabay, Eyal Kalanthroff The literature has long emphasized the role of the cerebral cortex in executive functions. Recently, however, several researchers have suggested that subcortical areas might also be involved in executive functions. The current study explored the possibility that subcortical mechanisms have a functional role in adaptive resolution of Stroop interference. We asked 20 participants to complete a cued task-switching Stroop task with variable cue-target intervals (CTI). Using a stereoscope, we manipulated which eye was shown the relevant dimension and which was shown the irrelevant dimension. This technique allowed us to examine the involvement of monocularly segregated – subcortical – regions of the visual processing stream. The interference effect was modulated by this eye-of-origin manipulation in the 0 CTI condition. This finding provides a novel indication for the notion that subcortical regions have a functional role in the resolution of Stroop interference. This indication suggests that cortical regions are not solely involved and that a dynamic interaction between cortical and subcortical regions is involved in executive functions.
Authors:Julie Mathieu; Reinoud J. Bootsma; Catherine Berthelon; Gilles Montagne Pages: 1 - 12 Abstract: Publication date: February 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 173 Author(s): Julie Mathieu, Reinoud J. Bootsma, Catherine Berthelon, Gilles Montagne Using a fixed-base driving simulator we compared the effects of the size and type of traffic vehicles (i.e., normal-sized or double-sized cars or motorcycles) approaching an intersection in two different tasks. In the perceptual judgment task, passively moving participants estimated when a traffic vehicle would reach the intersection for actual arrival times (ATs) of 1, 2, or 3s. In line with earlier findings, ATs were generally underestimated, the more so the longer the actual AT. Results revealed that vehicle size affected judgments in particular for the larger actual ATs (2 and 3s), with double-sized vehicles then being judged as arriving earlier than normal-sized vehicles. Vehicle type, on the other hand, affected judgments at the smaller actual ATs (1 and 2s), with cars then being judged as arriving earlier than motorcycles. In the behavioral task participants actively drove the simulator to cross the intersection by passing through a gap in a train of traffic. Analyses of the speed variations observed during the active intersection-crossing task revealed that the size and type of vehicles in the traffic train did not affect driving behavior in the same way as in the AT judgment task. First, effects were considerably smaller, affecting driving behavior only marginally. Second, effects were opposite to expectations based on AT judgments: driver approach speeds were smaller (rather than larger) when confronted with double-sized vehicles as compared to their normal-sized counterparts and when confronted with cars as compared to motorcycles. Finally, the temporality of the effects was different on the two tasks: vehicle size affected driver approach speed in the final stages of approach rather than early on, while vehicle type affected driver approach speed early on rather than later. Overall, we conclude that the active control of approach to the intersection is not based on successive judgments of traffic vehicle arrival times. These results thereby question the general belief that arrival time estimates are crucial for safe interaction with traffic.
Authors:Marco Sperduti; Dominique Makowski; Margherita Arcangeli; Prany Wantzen; Tiziana Zalla; Stéphane Lemaire; Jérôme Dokic; Jérôme Pelletier; Pascale Piolino Pages: 13 - 20 Abstract: Publication date: February 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 173 Author(s): Marco Sperduti, Dominique Makowski, Margherita Arcangeli, Prany Wantzen, Tiziana Zalla, Stéphane Lemaire, Jérôme Dokic, Jérôme Pelletier, Pascale Piolino Several theoretical models stress the role of executive functions in emotion regulation (ER). However, most of the previous studies on ER employed explicit regulatory strategies that could have engaged executive functions, beyond regulatory processes per se. Recently, there has been renewed interest in implicit forms of ER, believed to be closer to daily-life requirements. While various studies have shown that implicit and explicit ER engage partially overlapping neurocognitive processes, the contribution of different executive functions in implicit ER has not been investigated. In the present study, we presented participants with negatively valenced pictures of varying emotional intensity preceded by short texts describing them as either fictional or real. This manipulation was meant to induce a spontaneous emotional down-regulation. We recorded electrodermal activity (EDA) and subjective reports of emotion arousal. Executive functions (updating, switching, and inhibition) were also assessed. No difference was found between the fictional and real condition on EDA. A diminished self-reported arousal was observed, however, when pictures were described as fictional for high- and mild-intensity material, but not for neutral material. The amount of down-regulation in the fictional condition was found to be predicted by interindividual variability in updating performances, but not by the other measures of executive functions, suggesting its implication even in implicit forms of ER. The relationship between down-regulation and updating was significant only for high-intensity material. We discuss the role of updating in relation to the consciousness of one's emotional state.
Authors:Hyung-Bum Park; Weiwei Zhang; Joo-Seok Hyun Pages: 21 - 31 Abstract: Publication date: February 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 173 Author(s): Hyung-Bum Park, Weiwei Zhang, Joo-Seok Hyun There have been heated debates on whether visual working memory (VWM) represents information in discrete-slots or a reservoir of flexible-resources. However, one key aspect of the models has gone unnoticed, the speed of processing when stored information in memory is assessed for accuracy. The present study evaluated contrasting predictions from the two models regarding the change detection decision times spent on the assessment of stored information by estimating the ex-Gaussian parameters from change detection RT distributions across different set sizes (2, 4, 6, or 8). The estimation showed that the Gaussian components μ and σ became larger as the set size increased from 2 to 4, but stayed constant as it reached 6 and 8, with an exponential component τ increasing at above-capacity set sizes. Moreover, we found that an individual's capacity limit correlates with the memory set size where the Gaussian μ reaches a plateau. These results indicate that the decision time for assessing in-memory items is constant regardless of memory set sizes whereas the time for the remaining not-in-memory items increases as the set size exceeds VWM storage capacity. The findings suggest that the discrete-slot model explains the observed RT distributions better than the flexible-resource model.
Authors:Ning Hao; Hua Xue; Huan Yuan; Qing Wang; Mark A. Runco Pages: 32 - 40 Abstract: Publication date: February 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 173 Author(s): Ning Hao, Hua Xue, Huan Yuan, Qing Wang, Mark A. Runco This study tested whether compatibility or incompatibility between body posture and emotion was beneficial for creativity. In Study 1, participants were asked to solve the Alternative Uses Task (AUT) problems when performing open or closed body posture in positive or negative emotional state respectively. The results showed that originality of AUT performance was higher in the compatible conditions (i.e., open-positive and closed-negative) than in the incompatible conditions (i.e., closed-positive and open-negative). In Study 2, the compatibility effect was replicated in both the AUT and the Realistic Presented Problem test (i.e., RPP). Moreover, it was revealed that participants exhibited the highest associative flexibility in the open-positive condition, and the highest persistence in the closed-negative condition. These findings indicate that compatibility between body posture and emotion is beneficial for creativity. This may be because when the implicit emotions elicited by body posture match explicit emotions, the effects of emotions on creativity are enhanced, therefore promoting creativity through the flexibility or the persistence pathway respectively.
Authors:Vered Halamish; Leah Borovoi; Nira Liberman Pages: 41 - 45 Abstract: Publication date: February 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 173 Author(s): Vered Halamish, Leah Borovoi, Nira Liberman Evaluating alternatives and comparing them to each other are integral to decision-making. In addition, however, decision makers may adopt a view that goes beyond choice and make inferences about the entire set of alternatives, about the dimensions that are relevant in similar decisions, and about the range of values on a specific dimension. We examined some antecedents and consequences of adopting a beyond-choice view of decision situations. Based on Construal Level Theory we suggest that a beyond-choice view entails high (vs. low) level of construal of the decision situation and hence is more likely to occur for decisions that are more psychologically distant. We further suggest that a consequence of a beyond-choice view might be a later difficulty to remember which attribute belongs to which alternative. To examine these predictions we conducted an experiment in which participants evaluated decision scenarios that were described as being relevant for the distant (vs. the near) future. One day later they answered a decision-related source recognition test in which they were asked to remember which attribute belongs to which alternative. As predicted, people had more source-memory errors in the distant than in the near future condition. These results suggest that a beyond-choice view of decision situations is an important consequence of psychological distance (vs. proximity).
Authors:Elena S. Gorbunova Pages: 46 - 54 Abstract: Publication date: February 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 173 Author(s): Elena S. Gorbunova Visual search for multiple targets can cause errors called subsequent search misses (SSM) – a decrease in accuracy at detecting a second target after a first target has been found. One of the possible explanations of SSM errors is perceptual set. After the first target has been found, the subjects become biased to find perceptually similar targets, therefore they are more likely to find perceptually similar targets and less likely to find the targets that are perceptually dissimilar. This study investigated the role of perceptual similarity in SSM errors. The search array in each trial consisted of 20 stimuli (ellipses and crosses, black and white, small and big, oriented horizontally and vertically), which could contain one, two or no targets. In case of two targets, the targets could have two, three or four shared features (in the last case the targets were identical). The error rate decreased with increasing the similarity between the targets. These results state the role of perceptual similarity and have implications for the perceptual set theory.
Authors:Kaitlin E.W. Laidlaw; Alan Kingstone Pages: 55 - 65 Abstract: Publication date: February 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 173 Author(s): Kaitlin E.W. Laidlaw, Alan Kingstone When looking at images of faces, people will often focus their fixations on the eyes. It has previously been demonstrated that the eyes convey important information that may improve later facial recognition. Whether this advantage requires that the eyes be fixated, or merely attended to covertly (i.e. while looking elsewhere), is unclear from previous work. While attending to the eyes covertly without fixating them may be sufficient, the act of using overt attention to fixate the eyes may improve the processing of important details used for later recognition. In the present study, participants were shown a series of faces and, in Experiment 1, asked to attend to them normally while avoiding looking at either the eyes or, as a control, the mouth (overt attentional avoidance condition); or in Experiment 2 fixate the center of the face while covertly attending to either the eyes or the mouth (covert attention condition). After the first phase, participants were asked to perform an old/new face recognition task. We demonstrate that a) when fixations to the eyes are avoided during initial viewing then subsequent face discrimination suffers, and b) covert attention to the eyes alone is insufficient to improve face discrimination performance. Together, these findings demonstrate that fixating the eyes provides an encoding advantage that is not availed by covert attention alone.
Authors:Ouriel Grynszpan; Jean-Claude Martin; Philippe Fossati Pages: 66 - 72 Abstract: Publication date: February 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 173 Author(s): Ouriel Grynszpan, Jean-Claude Martin, Philippe Fossati Gaze plays a pivotal role in human communication, especially for coordinating attention. The ability to guide the gaze orientation of others forms the backbone of joint attention. Recent research has raised the possibility that gaze following behaviors could induce liking. The present study seeks to investigate this hypothesis. We designed two physically different human avatars that could follow the gaze of users via eye-tracking technology. In a preliminary experiment, 20 participants assessed the baseline appeal of the two avatars and confirmed that the avatars differed in this respect. In the main experiment, we compared how 19 participants rated the two avatars in terms of pleasantness, trustworthiness and closeness when the avatars were following their gaze versus when the avatar generated gaze movements autonomously. Although the same avatar as in the preliminary experiment was rated more favorably, the pleasantness attributed to the two avatars increased when they followed the gaze of the participants. This outcome provides evidence that gaze following fosters liking independently of the baseline appeal of the individual.
Authors:Stephanie C. Goodhew; Evan Kidd Pages: 73 - 86 Abstract: Publication date: February 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 173 Author(s): Stephanie C. Goodhew, Evan Kidd Synaesthesia is the neuropsychological phenomenon in which individuals experience unusual sensory associations, such as experiencing particular colours in response to particular words. While it was once thought the particular pairings between stimuli were arbitrary and idiosyncratic to particular synaesthetes, there is now growing evidence for a systematic psycholinguistic basis to the associations. Here we sought to assess the explanatory value of quantifiable lexical association measures (via latent semantic analysis; LSA) in the pairings observed between words and colours in synaesthesia. To test this, we had synaesthetes report the particular colours they experienced in response to given concept words, and found that language association between the concept and colour words provided highly reliable predictors of the reported pairings. These results provide convergent evidence for a psycholinguistic basis to synaesthesia, but in a novel way, showing that exposure to particular patterns of associations in language can predict the formation of particular synaesthetic lexical-colour associations. Consistent with previous research, the prototypical synaesthetic colour for the first letter of the word also played a role in shaping the colour for the whole word, and this effect also interacted with language association, such that the effect of the colour for the first letter was stronger as the association between the concept word and the colour word in language increased. Moreover, when a group of non-synaesthetes were asked what colours they associated with the concept words, they produced very similar reports to the synaesthetes that were predicted by both language association and prototypical synaesthetic colour for the first letter of the word. This points to a shared linguistic experience generating the associations for both groups.
Authors:Scott W. Brown; Sara T. Perreault Pages: 87 - 93 Abstract: Publication date: February 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 173 Author(s): Scott W. Brown, Sara T. Perreault This research was designed to replicate and extend findings concerning bidirectional interference between concurrent timing and inhibition tasks reported previously. Subjects performed serial temporal production and Go/No-Go (GNG) tasks under single-task and dual-task conditions in two experiments. The degree of inhibitory control required in the GNG tasks was manipulated by varying the proportion of go and no-go stimuli (experiment 1) and by instructing subjects to devote different amounts of attention to the dual tasks (experiment 2). The dual-task conditions in both experiments showed a pattern of mutual interference in which each task interfered with the other. In experiment 1, concurrent timing interfered more strongly with performance on a high inhibitory-demand GNG task compared with a low inhibitory-demand GNG task. In experiment 2, concurrent timing and GNG performance displayed a reciprocity effect in which greater attentiveness to one task improved performance for that task but diminished performance for the other task, and vice versa. These results support the view that temporal processing and inhibitory control depend upon a common pool of attentional resources, and point to the GNG task as a reliable research tool for investigators studying the role of attentional processes in time perception.
Authors:Linda Sebastianutto; Paola Mengotti; Caterina Spiezio; Raffaella Ida Rumiati; Evan Balaban Pages: 94 - 100 Abstract: Publication date: February 2017 Source:Acta Psychologica, Volume 173 Author(s): Linda Sebastianutto, Paola Mengotti, Caterina Spiezio, Raffaella Ida Rumiati, Evan Balaban Imitation can be realized via two different routes: a direct route that translates visual input into motor output when gestures are meaningless or unknown, and a semantic route for known/meaningful gestures. Young infants show imitative behaviours compatible with the direct route, but little is known about the development of the semantic route, studied here for the first time. The present study examined preschool children (3–5years of age) imitating gestures that could be transitive or intransitive, and meaningful or meaningless. Both routes for imitation were already present by three years of age, and children were more accurate at imitating meaningful-intransitive gestures than meaningless-intransitive ones; the reverse pattern was found for transitive gestures. Children preferred to use their dominant hand even if they had to anatomically imitate the model to do this, showing that a preference for specular imitation is not exclusive at these ages.