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Journal of Experimental Psychology. General

Patrick Ring, Catharina C Probst, Levent Neyse, Stephan Wolff, Christian Kaernbach, Thilo van Eimeren, Colin F Camerer, Ulrich Schmidt
Problem gambling is a serious socioeconomic problem involving high individual and social costs. In this article, we study risk preferences of problem gamblers including their risk attitudes in the gain and loss domains, their weighting of probabilities, and their degree of loss aversion. Our findings indicate that problem gamblers are systematically more risk taking and less sensitive toward changes in probabilities in the gain domain only. Neither their risk attitudes in the loss domain nor their degree of loss aversion are significantly different from the controls...
June 7, 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Philip Millroth, Mona Guath, Peter Juslin
The rationality of decision making under risk is of central concern in psychology and other behavioral sciences. In real-life, the information relevant to a decision often arrives sequentially or changes over time, implying nontrivial demands on memory. Yet, little is known about how this affects the ability to make rational decisions and a default assumption is rather that information about outcomes and probabilities are simultaneously available at the time of the decision. In 4 experiments, we show that participants receiving probability- and outcome information sequentially report substantially (29 to 83%) higher certainty equivalents than participants with simultaneous presentation...
June 7, 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Oriel FeldmanHall, A Ross Otto, Elizabeth A Phelps
There is little consensus about how moral values are learned. Using a novel social learning task, we examine whether vicarious learning impacts moral values-specifically fairness preferences-during decisions to restore justice. In both laboratory and Internet-based experimental settings, we employ a dyadic justice game where participants receive unfair splits of money from another player and respond resoundingly to the fairness violations by exhibiting robust nonpunitive, compensatory behavior (baseline behavior)...
June 7, 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Markus Janczyk, Veronika Lerche
Humans act goal-oriented, and this idea is at the core of ideomotor theory (IT), which claims that actions are selected by mentally anticipating the sensory consequences brought about by the respective bodily movement (i.e., their action effects). Evidence for this effect anticipation mainly derives from the response-effect (R-E) compatibility (REC) paradigm: In the spatial domain, for example, a left response is produced faster (and sometimes less error-prone) if followed by a compatible left rather than an incompatible right action effect...
May 31, 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Emile Bruneau, Nir Jacoby, Nour Kteily, Rebecca Saxe
Recent behavioral work demonstrates that many people view low-status groups as less "evolved and civilized" than high-status groups. Are these people using blatant expressions of dehumanization simply to express strong dislike toward other groups? Or is blatant dehumanization a process distinct from other negative assessments? We tested these competing hypotheses using functional neuroimaging. Participants judged 10 groups (e.g., Europeans, Muslims, rats) on four scales: blatant dehumanization, dislike, dissimilarity and perceived within-group homogeneity...
May 31, 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Celina K Bowman-Smith, Brandon W Goulding, Ori Friedman
Since ancient times, legal systems have held owners responsible for harm caused by their property. Across 4 experiments, we show that children aged 3-7 (N = 572) also hold owners responsible for such harm. Older children judge that owners should repair harm caused by property (Experiments 1A and 1B), and younger children may do this as well (Experiment 4). Younger and older children judge that owners should apologize for harm (Experiments 2A and 3), even when children do not believe the owners allowed the harm to occur (Experiment 2B)...
May 31, 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Amitai Shenhav, Carolyn K Dean Wolf, Uma R Karmarkar
Our most important decisions often provoke the greatest anxiety, whether we seek the better of two prizes or the lesser of two evils. Yet many of our choices are more mundane, such as selecting from a slate of mediocre but acceptable restaurants. Previous research suggests that choices of decreasing value should provoke decreasing anxiety. Here we show that this is not the case. Across three behavioral studies and one fMRI study, we find that anxiety and its neural correlates demonstrate a U-shaped function of choice set value, greatest when choosing between both the highest value and lowest value sets...
May 17, 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Nicholaus P Brosowsky, Matthew J C Crump
Adjustments in cognitive control, as measured by congruency sequence effects, are thought to be influenced by both external stimuli and internal goals. However, this dichotomy has often overshadowed the potential contribution of past experience stored in memory. Here, we examine the role of long-term episodic memory in guiding selective attention. Our aim was to demonstrate new evidence that selective attention can be modulated by long-term retrieval of stimulus-specific attentional control settings. All the experiments used a modified flanker task involving multiple unique stimuli...
May 17, 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Axel Franzen, Sebastian Mader, Fabian Winter
Humans express facial mimicry across a variety of actions. This article explores a distinct example, contagious yawning, and the links to empathy and prosocial behavior. Prior studies have suggested that there is a positive link between empathy and the susceptibility to contagious yawning. However, the existing evidence has been sparse and contradictory. We present results from 2 laboratory studies conducted with 171 (Study 1) and 333 (Study 2) student volunteers. Subjects were video-recorded while watching muted videos of individuals yawning, scratching, or laughing...
May 17, 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Nicholas Baker, Philip J Kellman
The ability to form shape representations from visual input is crucial to perception, thought, and action. Perceived shape is abstract, as evidenced when we can see a contour specified only by discrete dots, when a cloud appears to resemble a fish, or when we match shapes across transformations of scale and orientation. Surprisingly little is known about the formation of abstract shape representations in biological vision. We report experiments that demonstrate the existence of abstract shape representations in visual perception and identify the time course of their formation...
April 9, 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Brett Q Ford, Sandy J Lwi, Amy L Gentzler, Benjamin Hankin, Iris B Mauss
As humans, we have a unique capacity to reflect on our experiences, including emotions. Over time, we develop beliefs about the nature of emotions, and these beliefs are consequential, guiding how we respond to emotions and how we feel as a consequence. One fundamental belief concerns the controllability of emotions: Believing emotions are uncontrollable (entity beliefs) should reduce the likelihood of trying to control emotional experiences using effective regulation strategies like reappraisal; this, in turn, could negatively affect core indices of psychological health, including depressive symptoms...
April 5, 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Sushmita Shrikanth, Piotr M Szpunar, Karl K Szpunar
The future of groups of people is a topic of broad interest in society and academia. Nonetheless, relatively little is known about the manner in which people think about the collective future of groups, and whether personal and collective future thinking represent distinct domains of future-oriented cognition. In the present studies (N = 691), we used an adapted future fluency task to demonstrate a novel domain-by-valence interaction between personal and collective future thinking, such that U.S.-based participants were positively biased about their personal future while at the same time being negatively biased about the future of their country...
March 29, 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Ut Na Sio, Kenneth Kotovsky, Jonathan Cagan
Contrary to the popular belief that collaboration brings better problem solutions, empirical studies have revealed that interacting groups often performed worse than noninteracting "nominal" groups. Past studies mainly examined how overhearing others' ideas impacts group performance. This study investigated the impact of another essential but overlooked group communicative process-verbalizing ideas to others-on group performance. Participants (N = 156) solved 20 verbal puzzles either alone quietly, alone thinking-aloud, or in verbalizing pairs...
June 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
David A Kalkstein, Alexa D Hubbard, Yaacov Trope
A primary way that people make sense of their experience is by comparing various objects within their immediate environment to each other and to previously encountered objects. The objects involved in a comparison can be stimuli that are present within one's immediate environment, or mental representations of previously encountered stimuli that are now absent from one's immediate environment. In this research, we propose that the comparison process unfolds differently depending on whether an individual is comparing stimuli that are simultaneously present within a given context or is comparing a target stimulus to a stored representation of a previously encountered source stimulus...
June 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Jorge Almeida, Gonçalo Nunes, José Frederico Marques, Lénia Amaral
Congenitally deaf individuals, compared to hearing individuals, typically show differential performance (improvements or impairments) on certain nonauditory tasks. Concomitantly, their auditory cortex is recruited to process information from the spared senses. Are these compensatory behavioral strategies equally observable across the sensory fields of each particular unaffected sense (e.g., across the full visual field for vision-related compensatory plasticity)? There are neural data in human and nonhuman mammals that may be suggestive of there being a differential processing advantage for stimuli presented in the horizontal visual plane than in the vertical visual plane...
June 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Yoann Stussi, Gilles Pourtois, David Sander
Pavlovian aversive conditioning is an evolutionarily well-conserved adaptation enabling organisms to learn to associate environmental stimuli with biologically aversive events. However, mechanisms underlying preferential (or enhanced) Pavlovian aversive conditioning remain unclear. Previous research has suggested that only specific stimuli that have threatened survival across evolution (e.g., snakes and angry faces) are preferentially conditioned to threat. Here, we challenge this view by showing that positive stimuli with biological relevance (baby faces and erotic stimuli) are likewise readily associated with an aversive event (electric stimulation) during Pavlovian aversive conditioning, thereby reflecting a learning bias to these stimuli...
June 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Adam Tierney, Aniruddh D Patel, Mara Breen
In the "speech-to-song illusion," certain spoken phrases are heard as highly song-like when isolated from context and repeated. This phenomenon occurs to a greater degree for some stimuli than for others, suggesting that particular cues prompt listeners to perceive a spoken phrase as song. Here we investigated the nature of these cues across four experiments. In Experiment 1, participants were asked to rate how song-like spoken phrases were after each of eight repetitions. Initial ratings were correlated with the consistency of an underlying beat and within-syllable pitch slope, while rating change was linked to beat consistency, within-syllable pitch slope, and melodic structure...
June 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Carla De Simoni, Claudia C von Bastian
As working memory (WM) predicts a wide range of other abilities, it has become a popular target for training interventions. However, its effectiveness to elicit generalized cognitive benefits is still under debate. Previous research yielded inconsistent findings and focused only little on the mechanisms underlying transfer effects. To disentangle training effects on WM capacity and efficiency, we evaluated near transfer to untrained, structurally different WM tasks and far transfer to closely related abilities (i...
June 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Vince Polito, Amanda J Barnier, Michael H Connors
The Clever Hands task (Wegner, Fuller, & Sparrow, 2003) is a behavioral illusion in which participants make responses to a trivia quiz for which they have no sense of agency. Sixty high hypnotizable participants completed two versions of the Clever Hands task. Quiz One was a replication of the original study. Quiz Two was a hypnotic adaptation using three suggestions that were based on clinical disruptions to the sense of agency. The suggestions were for: random responding, thought insertion, and alien control...
June 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Sharon Arieli, Lilach Sagiv
This research investigates how the cultural mindset influences problem-solving. Drawing on the notion that cultural mindset influences the cognitive process individuals bring to bear at the moment of judgment, we propose that the congruency between the cultural mindset (individualistic vs. collectivistic) and problem type (rule-based vs. context-based) affects success in problem-solving. In 7 studies we incorporated the traditional approach to studying the impact of culture (i.e., comparing cultural groups) with contemporary approaches viewing cultural differences in a more dynamic and malleable manner...
June 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
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