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Journal of Experimental Psychology. General

Alexis C Carpenter, Daniel L Schacter
Prior research suggests that episodic memory can guide value-based decisions when single episodes are encoded in relation to the specific reward-context in which they were experienced. The current experiments examine the role that a flexible recombination-related retrieval mechanism that allows one to link together distinct events plays in the misattribution of specific reward-contexts across distinct episodes. To determine whether the same recombination-related retrieval mechanism supports both successful inference and transfer of reward-context across episodes, we developed a modified version of an associative inference paradigm in which participants encoded overlapping associations (AB, BC) that could later be linked to support inferential retrieval (AC), where one element ("A") was tied to reward...
February 8, 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Lili Sahakyan, Thomas R Kwapil
Negative symptom schizophrenia and negative schizotypy are associated with deficits in episodic memory, which may reflect deficits in context processing. However, studies that rely on summary performance measures such as mean accuracy or latency are limited in the extent that they can examine processes underlying memory impairment. The present study decomposed free recall performance by examining serial position functions, first response probability, temporal contiguity effect, cumulative recall functions, and interresponse times in high-positive schizotypy, high-negative schizotypy, and control groups...
January 25, 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Asher Koriat
Can we tell whether our beliefs and judgments are correct or wrong? Results across many domains indicate that people are skilled at discriminating between correct and wrong answers, endorsing the former with greater confidence than the latter. However, it has not been realized that because of people's adaptation to reality, representative samples of items tend to favor the correct answer, yielding object-level accuracy (OLA) that is considerably better than chance. Across 16 experiments that used 2-alternative forced-choice items from several domains, the confidence/accuracy (C/A) relationship was positive for items with OLA >50%, but consistently negative across items with OLA <50%...
January 25, 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Paul Seli, Daniel Smilek, Brandon C W Ralph, Daniel L Schacter
Across 2 independent samples, we examined the relation between individual differences in rates of self-caught mind wandering and individual differences in temporal monitoring of an unrelated response goal. Rates of self-caught mind wandering were assessed during a commonly used sustained-attention task, and temporal goal monitoring was indexed during a well-established prospective-memory task. The results from both samples showed a positive relation between rates of self-caught mind wandering during the sustained-attention task and rates of checking a clock to monitor the amount of time remaining before a response was required in the prospective-memory task...
January 22, 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Ben R Newell, Mike E Le Pelley
Can judgments be biased via passive monitoring of eye-gaze? We examined this question using a perceptual discrimination task (Experiment 1) and a complex moral judgment task (Experiment 2). Information about the location of participants' gaze at particular time-points in a trial was used to prompt responses. When there was no objective perceptual information available to decision-makers, the timing of the prompt had a small, but detectable effect on judgments (Experiment 1). However, this small effect did not scale up to more complex judgments about moral issues (Experiment 2)...
January 22, 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Katherine E Powers, Gideon Yaffe, Catherine A Hartley, Juliet Y Davidow, Hedy Kober, Leah H Somerville
Adolescents routinely take risks that impact the well-being of the friends they are with. However, it remains unclear when and how consequences for friends factor into decisions to take risks. Here we used an economic decision-making task to test whether risky choices are guided by the positive and negative consequences they promise for peers. Across a large developmental sample of participants ages 12-25, we show that risky decision computations increasingly assimilate friends' outcomes throughout adolescence into early adulthood in an asymmetric manner that overemphasizes protecting friends from incurring loss...
January 22, 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Arvid Guterstam, Joanna Szczotka, Hugo Zeberg, H Henrik Ehrsson
Characterizing the brain mechanisms that allow humans to use tools to interact with the environment is a major goal in neuroscience. It has been proposed that handheld tools are incorporated into the multisensory representation of the body and its surrounding (peripersonal) space, underlying our remarkable tool use ability. One single-cell recording study in tool-using monkeys provided qualitative support for this hypothesis, and the results from a vast number of human studies employing different experimental paradigms have been ambiguous...
February 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Mark Mills, Paul Boychuk, Alison L Chasteen, Jay Pratt
Spatial components of concepts can influence the speed with which peripheral targets are responded to (e.g., the word God speeds responses to targets presented above fixation; devil speeds responses to targets presented below fixation). The basic premise underlying these conceptual cueing effects is that thinking of a spatial metaphor activates an internal spatial representation which in turn influences the allocation of attention in the visual field. An important step forward in understanding conceptual cues is determining whether the underlying process is bidirectional: Do shifts of attention facilitate activation of corresponding conceptual information? To test this, a peripheral cue was used to induce shifts of attention to a peripheral location, and the effect of this shift on concept processing was measured with a standard lexical-decision task in which participants made word/nonword responses to a letter string presented at fixation (Experiments 1 and 3), or with a modified lexical-decision task in which participants made English/Dutch judgments of a word presented auditorily (Experiment 2)...
February 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Hugh Rabagliati, Alexander Robertson, David Carmel
Is consciousness required for high level cognitive processes, or can the unconscious mind perform tasks that are as complex and difficult as, for example, understanding a sentence? Recent work has argued that, yes, the unconscious mind can: Sklar et al. (2012) found that sentences, masked from consciousness using the technique of continuous flash suppression (CFS), broke into awareness more rapidly when their meanings were more unusual or more emotionally negative, even though processing the sentences' meaning required unconsciously combining each word's meaning...
February 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Thorsten Pachur, Michael Schulte-Mecklenbeck, Ryan O Murphy, Ralph Hertwig
There is a disconnect in the literature between analyses of risky choice based on cumulative prospect theory (CPT) and work on predecisional information processing. One likely reason is that for expectation models (e.g., CPT), it is often assumed that people behaved only as if they conducted the computations leading to the predicted choice and that the models are thus mute regarding information processing. We suggest that key psychological constructs in CPT, such as loss aversion and outcome and probability sensitivity, can be interpreted in terms of attention allocation...
February 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Daniel R Berry, Athena H Cairo, Robert J Goodman, Jordan T Quaglia, Jeffrey D Green, Kirk Warren Brown
Four studies tested the proposition that mindfulness and its training fostered prosociality toward ostracized strangers. In discovery Study 1, dispositional mindfulness predicted greater empathic concern for, and more helping behavior toward, an ostracized stranger. Using an experimental design, Study 2 revealed that very briefly instructed mindfulness, relative to active control instructions, also promoted prosocial responsiveness to an ostracized stranger. Study 3 ruled out alternative explanations for this effect of mindfulness, showing that it did not promote empathic anger or perpetrator punishment, nor that the control training reduced prosocial responsiveness toward an ostracized stranger rather than mindfulness increasing it...
January 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Cameron M Doyle, Kristen A Lindquist
Across 3 studies we show that emotion words support the acquisition of conceptual knowledge for emotional facial actions that then biases subsequent perceptual memory for later emotional facial actions. In all studies, participants first associated emotional facial actions with a word during a learning phase or completed a control task. In a target phase, participants studied slightly different category exemplars. During a final test phase, participants identified which face the individual had been making during the target phase (i...
January 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Maria Ktori, Petroula Mousikou, Kathleen Rastle
Research seeking to uncover the mechanisms by which we read aloud has focused almost exclusively on monosyllabic items presented in isolation. Consequently, important challenges that arise when considering polysyllabic word reading, such as stress assignment, have been ignored, while little is known about how important sentence-level stress cues, such as syntax and rhythm, may influence word reading aloud processes. The present study seeks to fill these gaps in the literature by (a) documenting the individual influences of major sublexical cues that readers use to assign stress in single-word reading in English and (b) determining how these cues may interact with contextual stress factors in sentence reading...
January 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Micah B Goldwater, Hilary J Don, Moritz J F Krusche, Evan J Livesey
Learning categories defined by the relations among objects supports the transfer of knowledge from initial learning contexts to novel contexts that share few surface similarities. Often relational categories have correlated (but nonessential) surface features, which can be a distraction from discovering the category-defining relations, preventing knowledge transfer. This is one explanation for "the inert knowledge problem" in education wherein many students fail to spontaneously apply their learning outside the classroom...
January 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
M Pacer, Tania Lombrozo
When evaluating causal explanations, simpler explanations are widely regarded as better explanations. However, little is known about how people assess simplicity in causal explanations or what the consequences of such a preference are. We contrast 2 candidate metrics for simplicity in causal explanations: node simplicity (the number of causes invoked in an explanation) and root simplicity (the number of unexplained causes invoked in an explanation). Across 4 experiments, we find that explanatory preferences track root simplicity, not node simplicity; that a preference for root simplicity is tempered (but not eliminated) by probabilistic evidence favoring a more complex explanation; that committing to a less likely but simpler explanation distorts memory for past observations; and that a preference for root simplicity is greater when the root cause is strongly linked to its effects...
December 2017: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Raegan J Tennant, Christopher K Hsee
Hedonic durability refers to the extent to which the hedonic impact of a change lasts, that is, how long the unhappiness from a loss (or happiness from a gain) will endure over time. The lesson from previous research on this topic has been that the long-term effect of most changes (e.g., larger incomes, bigger houses, shorter commutes) is negligible. The present research shows something different. Consistent with previous research, we observed a pattern of hedonic nondurability in which the impact of a change did not endure over time...
December 2017: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Felix Hao Wang, Jason D Zevin, Toben H Mintz
Because of the hierarchical organization of natural languages, words that are syntactically related are not always linearly adjacent. For example, the subject and verb in the child always runs agree in person and number, although they are not adjacent in the sequences of words. Since such dependencies are indicative of abstract linguist structure, it is of significant theoretical interest how these relationships are acquired by language learners. Most experiments that investigate nonadjacent dependency (NAD) learning have used artificial languages in which the to-be-learned dependencies are isolated, by presenting the minimal sequences that contain the dependent elements...
December 2017: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
(no author information available yet)
Reports an error in "Sex differences in the spatial representation of number" by Rebecca Bull, Alexandra A. Cleland and Thomas Mitchell (Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 2013[Feb], Vol 142[1], 181-192). In the article, there was an error in the Results section of Experiment 2. The t value incorrectly repeated the beta weight ( .25). The correct value is t(39) = 3.38, p = .002. There was also an error in the Discussion section of Experiment 2. The reported result of F(1, 94) = 4.27, should read F(1, 94) = 4...
December 2017: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Cordula Vesper, Laura Schmitz, Günther Knoblich
In many joint actions, knowledge about the precise task to be performed is distributed asymmetrically such that one person has information that another person lacks. In such situations, interpersonal coordination can be achieved if the knowledgeable person modulates basic parameters of her goal-directed actions in a way that provides relevant information to the co-actor with incomplete task knowledge. Whereas such sensorimotor communication has frequently been shown for spatial parameters like movement amplitude, little is known about how co-actors use temporal parameters of their actions to establish communication...
December 2017: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Anthony G Greenwald, Jan De Houwer
Unpronounceable strings of 4 consonants (conditioned stimuli: CSs) were consistently followed by familiar words belonging to 1 of 2 opposed semantic categories (unconditioned stimuli: USs). Conditioning, in the form of greater accuracy in rapidly classifying USs into their categories, was found when visually imperceptible (to most subjects) CSs occupied ≥58 ms of a 75-ms CS-US interval. When clearly visible CSs were presented in a 375 ms CS-US interval, conditioning was strongly correlated with measures of contingency awareness, and did not occur in the absence of that awareness...
December 2017: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
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