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Psychological Research

Paul Seli, Daniel L Schacter, Evan F Risko, Daniel Smilek
We explored the possibility that increasing participants' motivation to perform well on a focal task can reduce mind wandering. Participants completed a sustained-attention task either with standard instructions (normal motivation), or with instructions informing them that they could be excused from the experiment early if they achieved a certain level of performance (higher motivation). Throughout the task, we assessed rates of mind wandering (both intentional and unintentional types) via thought probes. Results showed that the motivation manipulation led to significant reductions in both intentional and unintentional mind wandering as well as improvements in task performance...
September 16, 2017: Psychological Research
Christina B Reimer, Torsten Schubert
Both response selection and visual attention are limited in capacity. According to the central bottleneck model, the response selection processes of two tasks in a dual-task situation are performed sequentially. In conjunction search, visual attention is required to select the items and to bind their features (e.g., color and form), which results in a serial search process. Search time increases as items are added to the search display (i.e., set size effect). When the search display is masked, visual attention deployment is restricted to a brief period of time and target detection decreases as a function of set size...
September 15, 2017: Psychological Research
Greg Huffman, Jason Rajsic, Jay Pratt
Ironic processing refers to the phenomenon where attempting to resist doing something results in a person doing that very thing. Here, we report three experiments investigating the role of ironic processing in visual search. In Experiment 1, we informed observers that they could predict the location of a salient color singleton in a visual search task and found that response times were slower in that condition than in a condition where the singleton's location was random. Experiment 2 used the same experimental design but did not inform participants of the color singleton's behavior...
September 15, 2017: Psychological Research
Claudia Carrara-Augustenborg, Benjamin G Schultz
Forming temporal expectancies plays a crucial role in our survival as it allows us to identify the occurrence of temporal deviants that might signal potential dangers. The dynamic attending theory suggests that temporal expectancies are formed more readily for rhythms that imply a beat (i.e., metrical rhythms) compared to those that do not (i.e., nonmetrical rhythms). Moreover, metrical frameworks can be used to detect temporal deviants. Although several studies have demonstrated that congenital or early blindness correlates with modality-specific neural changes that reflect compensatory mechanisms, few have examined whether blind individuals show a learning advantage for auditory rhythms and whether learning can occur unintentionally and without awareness, that is, implicitly...
September 15, 2017: Psychological Research
Leah Fostick, Adi Lifshitz-Ben-Basat, Harvey Babkoff
The present study aimed to examine whether the judgments of temporal order are made by the same "central processor" regardless of the characteristics of the sound stimuli. The influence of stimulus parameters (e.g., frequency, spectrum, duration, location) on auditory temporal order judgment (TOJ) thresholds was tested in seven groups with a total of 192 participants received two-tone sequences of different: frequencies (3 groups); spectrum widths, via a pure tone and a Gaussian noise burst (1 group); durations (2 groups); or locations, via asynchronous presentation to each ear (1 group)...
September 8, 2017: Psychological Research
Aviad Ozana, Tzvi Ganel
Visually guided grasping movements directed to real, 3D objects are characterized by a distinguishable trajectory pattern that evades the influence of Weber's law, a basic principle of perception. Conversely, grasping trajectories directed to 2D line drawings of objects adhere to Weber's law. It can be argued, therefore, that during 2D grasping, the visuomotor system fails at operating in analytic mode and is intruded by irrelevant perceptual information. Here, we explored the visual and tactile cues that enable such analytic processing during grasping...
September 4, 2017: Psychological Research
Victor Mittelstädt, David Dignath, Magdalena Schmidt-Ott, Andrea Kiesel
In the voluntary task-switching paradigm, participants are required to randomly select tasks. We reasoned that the consistent finding of a repetition bias (i.e., participants repeat tasks more often than expected by chance) reflects reasonable adaptive task selection behavior to balance the goal of random task selection with the goals to minimize the time and effort for task performance. We conducted two experiments in which participants were provided with variable amount of preview for the non-chosen task stimuli (i...
September 4, 2017: Psychological Research
Jefta D Saija, Deniz Başkent, Tjeerd C Andringa, Elkan G Akyürek
As people age, they tend to integrate successive visual stimuli over longer intervals than younger adults. It may be expected that temporal integration is affected similarly in other modalities, possibly due to general, age-related cognitive slowing of the brain. However, the previous literature does not provide convincing evidence that this is the case in audition. One hypothesis is that the primacy of time in audition attenuates the degree to which temporal integration in that modality extends over time as a function of age...
September 4, 2017: Psychological Research
Jerad H Moxley, K Anders Ericsson, Michael Tuffiash
In two studies, the SCRABBLE skill of male and female participants at the National SCRABBLE Championship was analyzed and revealed superior performance for males. By collecting increasingly detailed information about the participants' engagement in practice-related activities, we found that over half of the variance in SCRABBLE performance was accounted for by measures of starting ages and the amount of different types of practice activities. Males and females did not differ significantly in the benefits to their performance derived from engagement in SCRABBLE-specific practice alone (purposeful practice)...
August 31, 2017: Psychological Research
A Kretschmer-Trendowicz, K M Schnitzspahn, L Reuter, M Altgassen
Research on children's prospective memory (PM) shows an increase of performance across childhood and provides first evidence that encoding strategies such as episodic future thinking (EFT; i.e., engaging in a vivid prospection of oneself performing future tasks) may improve performance. The present study aimed at testing whether the beneficial effects of EFT extend from typical lab-based tasks to more complex tasks with real life demands. Further, it was tested whether children's ability to project themselves into different perspectives (i...
August 31, 2017: Psychological Research
Sebastian Kübler, Christina B Reimer, Tilo Strobach, Torsten Schubert
Dual tasks (DTs) are characterized by the requirement for additional mechanisms that coordinate the processing order of two temporally overlapping tasks. These mechanisms are indicated by two types of costs that occur when comparing DT blocks with fixed and random orders of the component tasks. On a block level, task-order control costs are reflected in increased reaction times (RTs) in random-order compared to fixed-order blocks, indicating global, monitoring-based, coordination mechanisms. On a trial level, within random-order blocks, order-switch costs are indicated by increased RTs on order switch compared to order repetition trials, reflecting memory-based mechanisms that guide task-order in DTs...
August 30, 2017: Psychological Research
Daniel R Saunders, David Melcher, Wieske van Zoest
People working together on a task must often represent the goals and salient items of their partner. The aim of the present study was to study the influence of joint task representations in an interference task in which the congruency relies on semantic identity. If task representations are shared between partners in a joint Stroop task (co-representation account), we hypothesized that items in the response set of one partner might influence performance of the other. In Experiment 1, pairs of participants sat side by side...
August 29, 2017: Psychological Research
Julia Felicitas Dietrich, Hans-Christoph Nuerk, Elise Klein, Korbinian Moeller, Stefan Huber
Previous research has proposed that the approximate number system (ANS) constitutes a building block for later mathematical abilities. Therefore, numerous studies investigated the relationship between ANS acuity and mathematical performance, but results are inconsistent. Properties of the experimental design have been discussed as a potential explanation of these inconsistencies. In the present study, we investigated the influence of set size and presentation duration on the association between non-symbolic magnitude comparison and math performance...
August 29, 2017: Psychological Research
Anouk van der Weiden, Roman Liepelt, Neeltje E M van Haren
When interacting with others, people represent their own as well as their interaction partners' actions. Such joint action representation is essential for action coordination, but may also interfere with action control. We investigated how joint action representations affect experienced control over people's own actions and their interaction partners' actions. Participants performed a joint go/no-go task, which is commonly used to measure to what extent people represent their own actions in spatial reference to their interaction partner (e...
August 23, 2017: Psychological Research
Wenke Möhring, Masami Ishihara, Jacqueline Curiger, Andrea Frick
The current study investigated whether children's mental representations of numbers are organized spatially at the onset of formal schooling using a manual-pointing task. First-graders (N = 77) saw four numbers (1, 3, 7, 9) presented randomly in four spatial positions (extreme left, left, right, extreme right) on a touch screen. In a Go/No-Go task, children were asked to press the appearing numbers as fast and accurately as possible, but only when the numbers were "smaller" (or "larger" in a different block) than 5...
August 10, 2017: Psychological Research
April Karlinsky, Melanie Y Lam, Romeo Chua, Nicola J Hodges
When a two-choice "Simon task" is distributed between two people, performance in the shared go/no-go task resembles performance in the whole task alone. This finding has been described as the joint Simon effect (JSE). Unlike the individual go/no-go task, not only is the typical joint Simon task shared with another person, but also the imperative stimuli dictate whose turn it is to respond. Therefore, in the current study, we asked whether removing the agent discrimination component of the joint Simon task influences co-representation...
August 9, 2017: Psychological Research
Christoph Naefgen, Michael Dambacher, Markus Janczyk
Response times (RTs) for free choice tasks are usually longer than those for forced choice tasks. We examined the cause for this difference in a study with intermixed free and forced choice trials, and adopted the rationale of sequential sampling frameworks to test two alternative accounts: Longer RTs in free choices are caused (1) by lower rates of information accumulation, or (2) by additional cognitive processes that delay the start of information accumulation. In three experiments, we made these accounts empirically discriminable by manipulating decision thresholds via the frequency of catch trials (Exp...
August 3, 2017: Psychological Research
Sabine U König, Caspar Goeke, Tobias Meilinger, Peter König
Theories of Enactivism propose an action-oriented approach to understand human cognition. So far, however, empirical evidence supporting these theories has been sparse. Here, we investigate whether spatial navigation based on allocentric reference frames that are independent of the observer's physical body can be understood within an action-oriented approach. Therefore, we performed three experiments testing the knowledge of the absolute orientation of houses and streets towards north, the relative orientation of two houses and two streets, respectively, and the location of houses towards each other in a pointing task...
August 2, 2017: Psychological Research
Jessica Vanessa Strozyk, Carolin Dudschig, Barbara Kaup
Theories of embodiment state that people mentally simulate the described situations and events during language comprehension. While several studies have provided evidence that these simulations exist, it is still unclear whether they are functionally relevant for comprehension. To investigate this question, we studied the effects of a secondary task on the processing of hand- and foot-related nouns. The secondary task occupied either the hand or the foot system, thereby impeding hand- or foot-related simulations, respectively...
August 2, 2017: Psychological Research
Frowin Fasold, Peter Wühr, Daniel Memmert
Judging offside in football represents a typical go-nogo task (offside-raising the flag, no offside-no response). Nevertheless, several studies involved two-choice tasks (e.g. offside-press key A, no offside-press key B) to investigate potential sources of errors in offside situations. While go-nogo and choice-response tasks are commonly used in experimental psychology, response preferences may differ between the two tasks. Therefore, we investigated the impact of response requirements on offside judgments in a sample of male participants without experience in professional refereeing...
August 1, 2017: Psychological Research
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