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Memory & Cognition

Joshua L Fiechter, Aaron S Benjamin
In five experiments, we investigated whether expected retention intervals affect subjects' encoding strategies. In the first four experiments, our subjects studied paired associates consisting of words from the Graduate Record Exam and a synonym. They were told to expect a test on a word pair after either a short or a longer interval. Subjects were tested on most pairs after the expected retention interval. For some pairs, however, subjects were tested after the other retention interval, allowing for a comparison of performance at a given retention interval conditional upon the expected retention interval...
October 21, 2016: Memory & Cognition
Giovanni Sala, Fernand Gobet
Experts' remarkable ability to recall meaningful domain-specific material is a classic result in cognitive psychology. Influential explanations for this ability have focused on the acquisition of high-level structures (e.g., schemata) or experts' capability to process information holistically. However, research on chess players suggests that experts maintain some reliable memory advantage over novices when random stimuli (e.g., shuffled chess positions) are presented. This skill effect cannot be explained by theories emphasizing high-level memory structures or holistic processing of stimuli, because random material does not contain large structures nor wholes...
October 21, 2016: Memory & Cognition
Hugo Mercier, Jonathan J Rolison, Marta Stragà, Donatella Ferrante, Clare R Walsh, Vittorio Girotto
Why do individuals mentally modify reality (e.g., "If it hadn't rained, we would have won the game")? According to the dominant view, counterfactuals primarily serve to prepare future performance. In fact, individuals who have just failed a task tend to modify the uncontrollable features of their attempt (e.g., "If the rules of the game were different, I would have won it"), generating counterfactuals that are unlikely to play any preparatory role. By contrast, they generate prefactuals that focus on the controllable features of their ensuing behavior (e...
October 19, 2016: Memory & Cognition
Benjamin Margolin Rottman
Whether humans can accurately make decisions in line with Bayes' rule has been one of the most important yet contentious topics in cognitive psychology. Though a number of paradigms have been used for studying Bayesian updating, rarely have subjects been allowed to use their own preexisting beliefs about the prior and the likelihood. A study is reported in which physicians judged the posttest probability of a diagnosis for a patient vignette after receiving a test result, and the physicians' posttest judgments were compared to the normative posttest calculated from their own beliefs in the sensitivity and false positive rate of the test (likelihood ratio) and prior probability of the diagnosis...
October 17, 2016: Memory & Cognition
Debra Jared, Katrina O'Donnell
We examined whether highly skilled adult readers activate the meanings of high-frequency words using phonology when reading sentences for meaning. A homophone-error paradigm was used. Sentences were written to fit 1 member of a homophone pair, and then 2 other versions were created in which the homophone was replaced by its mate or a spelling-control word. The error words were all high-frequency words, and the correct homophones were either higher-frequency words or low-frequency words-that is, the homophone errors were either the subordinate or dominant member of the pair...
October 17, 2016: Memory & Cognition
Richard W Hass
Divergent thinking has often been used as a proxy measure of creative thinking, but this practice lacks a foundation in modern cognitive psychological theory. This article addresses several issues with the classic divergent-thinking methodology and presents a new theoretical and methodological framework for cognitive divergent-thinking studies. A secondary analysis of a large dataset of divergent-thinking responses is presented. Latent semantic analysis was used to examine the potential changes in semantic distance between responses and the concept represented by the divergent-thinking prompt across successive response iterations...
October 17, 2016: Memory & Cognition
Xiuli Tong, Xinjie He, S Hélène Deacon
Languages differ considerably in how they use prosodic features, or variations in pitch, duration, and intensity, to distinguish one word from another. Prosodic features include lexical tone in Chinese and lexical stress in English. Recent cross-sectional studies show a surprising result that Mandarin Chinese tone sensitivity is related to Mandarin-English bilingual children's English word reading. This study explores the mechanism underlying this relation by testing two explanations of these effects: the prosodic hypothesis and segmental phonological awareness transfer...
October 13, 2016: Memory & Cognition
Pier-Luc de Chantal, Henry Markovits
There is little consensus about the nature of logical reasoning and, equally important, about how it develops. To address this, we looked at the early origins of deductive reasoning in preschool children. We examined the contribution of two factors to the reasoning ability of very young children: inhibitory capacity and the capacity to generate alternative ideas. In a first study, a total of 32 preschool children were all given generation, inhibition, and logical reasoning measures. Logical reasoning was measured using knowledge-based premises such as "All dogs have legs," and two different inferences: modus ponens and affirmation of the consequent...
October 10, 2016: Memory & Cognition
Jeffrey E Foy, Paul C LoCasto, Stephen W Briner, Samantha Dyar
Readers rapidly check new information against prior knowledge during validation, but research is inconsistent as to whether source credibility affects validation. We argue that readers are likely to accept highly plausible assertions regardless of source, but that high source credibility may boost acceptance of claims that are less plausible based on general world knowledge. In Experiment 1, participants read narratives with assertions for which the plausibility varied depending on the source. For high credibility sources, we found that readers were faster to read information confirming these assertions relative to contradictory information...
October 10, 2016: Memory & Cognition
Iva Ivanova, Liane Wardlow, Jill Warker, Victor S Ferreira
Speakers sometimes encounter utterances that have anomalous linguistic features. Are such features registered during comprehension and transferred to speakers' production systems? In two experiments, we explored these questions. In a syntactic-priming paradigm, speakers heard prime sentences with novel or intransitive verbs as part of prepositional-dative or double-object structures (e.g., The chef munded the cup to the burglar or The doctor existed the pirate the balloon). Speakers then described target pictures eliciting the same structures, using the same or different novel or intransitive verbs...
October 7, 2016: Memory & Cognition
Ricardo A Minervino, Valeria Olguín, Máximo Trench
Research on analogical thinking has devised several ways of promoting an abstract encoding of base analogs, thus rendering them more retrievable during later encounters with similar situations lacking surface similarities. Recent studies have begun to explore ways of facilitating transfer at retrieval time, which could facilitate the retrieval of distant analogs learned within contexts that were not specially directed to emphasize their abstract structure. Such studies demonstrate that comparing a target problem to an analogous problem helps students retrieve base analogs that lack surface similarities...
October 7, 2016: Memory & Cognition
Eryn J Newman, Tanjeem Azad, D Stephen Lindsay, Maryanne Garry
When people rapidly judge the truth of claims about the present or the past, a related but nonprobative photo can produce "truthiness," an increase in the perceived truth of those claims (Newman, Garry, Bernstein, Kantner, & Lindsay, 2012). What we do not know is the extent to which nonprobative photos cause truthiness for the future. We addressed this issue in four experiments. In each experiment, people judged the truth of claims that the price of certain commodities (such as manganese) would increase (or decrease)...
September 19, 2016: Memory & Cognition
Stephen R Schmidt, Constance R Schmidt
An item that is conceptually or physically different from other items in a series is often remembered well. This isolation effect has been found independent of the position of the isolated item in the list, suggesting that special attention to or processing of the isolated item is not a necessary precondition of the effect. Three experiments are reported that challenge this conclusion. In Experiment 1a, we compared memory for conceptually isolated items to memory for the same items in unrelated and homogeneous lists...
September 15, 2016: Memory & Cognition
A Reyyan Bilge, Holly A Taylor
The mental rotation literature commonly reports a sex difference, almost always favoring men. Two strategies have been proposed in the literature to account for this difference: holistic and piecemeal. However, there is great variability in rotation performance suggesting other possible contributing factors. This study investigated the effects of stimuli characteristics and habitual spatial thinking on mental rotation performance. In three experiments, participants completed a mental rotation task with two modifications: (1) 3-D figures were presented with their cut versions to promote piecemeal strategy, and (2) block figures were either presented within a frame or none, in light of reference framework model or perceptual grouping model...
September 6, 2016: Memory & Cognition
Hamad Al-Azary, Lori Buchanan
Previous research suggests that metaphor comprehension is affected both by the concreteness of the topic and vehicle and their semantic neighbours (Kintsch, 2000; Xu, 2010). However, studies have yet to manipulate these 2 variables simultaneously. To that end, we composed novel metaphors manipulated on topic concreteness and semantic neighbourhood density (SND) of topic and vehicle. In Experiment 1, participants rated the metaphors on the suitability (e.g. sensibility) of their topic-vehicle pairings. Topic concreteness interacted with SND such that participants rated metaphors from sparse semantic spaces to be more sensible than those from dense semantic spaces and preferred abstract topics over concrete topics only for metaphors from dense semantic spaces...
September 6, 2016: Memory & Cognition
Martin Van Boekel, Karla A Lassonde, Edward J O'Brien, Panayiota Kendeou
The knowledge revision components framework (KReC) outlines the basic comprehension processes and text factors that can be accentuated to increase the potential for knowledge revision during reading. The goal of the present study was to explore source credibility as one such text factor. In Experiment 1, we established the utility of a set of refutation texts in influencing knowledge revision. Participants read ten refutation and ten control texts. The participants had faster reading times and higher posttest scores for the refutation than for the control texts, providing evidence for knowledge revision...
September 1, 2016: Memory & Cognition
Clare J Rathbone, Akira R O'Connor, Chris J A Moulin
Two studies investigated the role of the self in the reminiscence bump (heightened retrieval for events from young adulthood). Participants over the age of 40 years were presented with top-grossing films and songs, and were asked to select the five that were most personally significant. Study 1 produced reminiscence bumps for personally significant songs, when measured by both participants' age at release (AaR) and age when songs were reported as most important (AaI). This effect was not shown for films. In Study 2, participants again selected their personally significant songs but also rated all songs for whether they were known, remembered (e...
August 26, 2016: Memory & Cognition
Gaston Saux, Anne Britt, Ludovic Le Bigot, Nicolas Vibert, Debora Burin, Jean-François Rouet
According to the documents model framework (Britt, Perfetti, Sandak, & Rouet, 1999), readers' detection of contradictions within texts increases their integration of source-content links (i.e., who says what). This study examines whether conflict may also strengthen the relationship between the respective sources. In two experiments, participants read brief news reports containing two critical statements attributed to different sources. In half of the reports, the statements were consistent with each other, whereas in the other half they were discrepant...
August 16, 2016: Memory & Cognition
Kathleen L Hourihan, Scott H Fraundorf, Aaron S Benjamin
Much is known about how the emotional content of words affects memory for those words, but only recently have researchers begun to investigate whether emotional content influences metamemory-that is, learners' assessments of what is or is not memorable. The present study replicated recent work demonstrating that judgments of learning (JOLs) do indeed reflect the superior memorability of words with emotional content. We further contrasted two hypotheses regarding this effect: a physiological account in which emotional words are judged to be more memorable because of their arousing properties, versus a cognitive account in which emotional words are judged to be more memorable because of their cognitive distinctiveness...
August 15, 2016: Memory & Cognition
Miriam Gade, Alessandra S Souza, Michel D Druey, Klaus Oberauer
Working memory (WM) holds and manipulates representations for ongoing cognition. Oberauer (Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 51, 45-100, 2009) distinguishes between two analogous WM sub-systems: a declarative WM which handles the objects of thought, and a procedural WM which handles the representations of (cognitive) actions. Here, we assessed whether analogous effects are observed when participants switch between memory sets (declarative representations) and when they switch between task sets (procedural representations)...
August 12, 2016: Memory & Cognition
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