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Cognitive Science

Travis J Wiltshire, Jonathan E Butner, Stephen M Fiore
Multiple theories of problem-solving hypothesize that there are distinct qualitative phases exhibited during effective problem-solving. However, limited research has attempted to identify when transitions between phases occur. We integrate theory on collaborative problem-solving (CPS) with dynamical systems theory suggesting that when a system is undergoing a phase transition it should exhibit a peak in entropy and that entropy levels should also relate to team performance. Communications from 40 teams that collaborated on a complex problem were coded for occurrence of problem-solving processes...
February 18, 2017: Cognitive Science
Paul H Thibodeau, Stephen J Flusberg
Political discourse is saturated with metaphor, but evidence for the persuasive power of this language has been hard to come by. We addressed this issue by investigating whether voting intentions were affected by implicit mappings suggested by a metaphorically framed message, drawing on a real-world example of political rhetoric about the federal budget. In the first experiment, the federal budget was framed as similar to or different from a household budget, though the information participants received was identical in both conditions...
January 31, 2017: Cognitive Science
Kat Agres, Samer Abdallah, Marcus Pearce
A basic function of cognition is to detect regularities in sensory input to facilitate the prediction and recognition of future events. It has been proposed that these implicit expectations arise from an internal predictive coding model, based on knowledge acquired through processes such as statistical learning, but it is unclear how different types of statistical information affect listeners' memory for auditory stimuli. We used a combination of behavioral and computational methods to investigate memory for non-linguistic auditory sequences...
January 25, 2017: Cognitive Science
Melissa DeWolf, Ji Y Son, Miriam Bassok, Keith J Holyoak
Why might it be (at least sometimes) beneficial for adults to process fractions componentially? Recent research has shown that college-educated adults can capitalize on the bipartite structure of the fraction notation, performing more successfully with fractions than with decimals in relational tasks, notably analogical reasoning. This study examined patterns of relational priming for problems with fractions in a task that required arithmetic computations. College students were asked to judge whether or not multiplication equations involving fractions were correct...
January 17, 2017: Cognitive Science
Sarah E Koopman, Bradford Z Mahon, Jessica F Cantlon
Language and culture endow humans with access to conceptual information that far exceeds any which could be accessed by a non-human animal. Yet, it is possible that, even without language or specific experiences, non-human animals represent and infer some aspects of similarity relations between objects in the same way as humans. Here, we show that monkeys' discrimination sensitivity when identifying images of animals is predicted by established measures of semantic similarity derived from human conceptual judgments...
December 29, 2016: Cognitive Science
Niels Skovgaard-Olsen, Henrik Singmann, Karl Christoph Klauer
This paper examines precursors and consequents of perceived relevance of a proposition A for a proposition C. In Experiment 1, we test Spohn's (2012) assumption that ∆P = P(C|A) - P(C|~A) is a good predictor of ratings of perceived relevance and reason relations, and we examine whether it is a better predictor than the difference measure (P(C|A) - P(C)). In Experiment 2, we examine the effects of relevance on probabilistic coherence in Cruz, Baratgin, Oaksford, and Over's (2015) uncertain "and-to-if" inferences...
December 29, 2016: Cognitive Science
Christina Y Tzeng, Lynne C Nygaard, Laura L Namy
Although language has long been regarded as a primarily arbitrary system, sound symbolism, or non-arbitrary correspondences between the sound of a word and its meaning, also exists in natural language. Previous research suggests that listeners are sensitive to sound symbolism. However, little is known about the specificity of these mappings. This study investigated whether sound symbolic properties correspond to specific meanings, or whether these properties generalize across semantic dimensions. In three experiments, native English-speaking adults heard sound symbolic foreign words for dimensional adjective pairs (big/small, round/pointy, fast/slow, moving/still) and for each foreign word, selected a translation among English antonyms that either matched or mismatched with the correct meaning dimension...
December 29, 2016: Cognitive Science
Arber Tasimi, Susan A Gelman
Although traditional economic models posit that money is fungible, psychological research abounds with examples that deviate from this assumption. Across eight experiments, we provide evidence that people construe physical currency as carrying traces of its moral history. In Experiments 1 and 2, people report being less likely to want money with negative moral history (i.e., stolen money). Experiments 3-5 provide evidence against an alternative account that people's judgments merely reflect beliefs about the consequences of accepting stolen money rather than moral sensitivity...
December 21, 2016: Cognitive Science
Jennifer S Trueblood, Pernille Hemmer
Recent evidence suggests that experienced events are often mapped to too many episodic states, including those that are logically or experimentally incompatible with one another. For example, episodic over-distribution patterns show that the probability of accepting an item under different mutually exclusive conditions violates the disjunction rule. A related example, called subadditivity, occurs when the probability of accepting an item under mutually exclusive and exhaustive instruction conditions sums to a number >1...
December 21, 2016: Cognitive Science
Harm Brouwer, Matthew W Crocker, Noortje J Venhuizen, John C J Hoeks
Ten years ago, researchers using event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to study language comprehension were puzzled by what looked like a Semantic Illusion: Semantically anomalous, but structurally well-formed sentences did not affect the N400 component-traditionally taken to reflect semantic integration-but instead produced a P600 effect, which is generally linked to syntactic processing. This finding led to a considerable amount of debate, and a number of complex processing models have been proposed as an explanation...
December 21, 2016: Cognitive Science
Gregory L Murphy, David A Bosch, ShinWoo Kim
Six experiments investigated variables predicted to influence subjects' tendency to classify items by a single property (rule-based responding) instead of overall similarity, following the paradigm of Norenzayan et al. (, Cognitive Science), who found that European Americans tended to give more "logical" rule-based responses. However, in five experiments with Mechanical Turk subjects and undergraduates at an American university, we found a consistent preference for similarity-based responding. A sixth experiment with Korean undergraduates revealed an effect of instructions, also reported by Norenzayan et al...
December 21, 2016: Cognitive Science
John Turri
Recent work has shown that knowledge attributions affect how people think others should behave, more so than belief attributions do. This paper reports two experiments providing evidence that (a) knowledge attributions also affect behavioral predictions more strongly than belief attributions do, and (b) knowledge attributions facilitate faster behavioral predictions than belief attributions do. Thus, knowledge attributions play multiple critical roles in social cognition, guiding judgments about how people should and will behave...
December 21, 2016: Cognitive Science
Joseph L Austerweil, Thomas L Griffiths, Stephen E Palmer
How does the visual system recognize images of a novel object after a single observation despite possible variations in the viewpoint of that object relative to the observer? One possibility is comparing the image with a prototype for invariance over a relevant transformation set (e.g., translations and dilations). However, invariance over rotations (i.e., orientation invariance) has proven difficult to analyze, because it applies to some objects but not others. We propose that the invariant transformations of an object are learned by incorporating prior expectations with real-world evidence...
December 21, 2016: Cognitive Science
Christine E Potter, Tianlin Wang, Jenny R Saffran
Recent research has begun to explore individual differences in statistical learning, and how those differences may be related to other cognitive abilities, particularly their effects on language learning. In this research, we explored a different type of relationship between language learning and statistical learning: the possibility that learning a new language may also influence statistical learning by changing the regularities to which learners are sensitive. We tested two groups of participants, Mandarin Learners and Naïve Controls, at two time points, 6 months apart...
December 18, 2016: Cognitive Science
Woojae Kim, Mark A Pitt, Zhong-Lin Lu, Jay I Myung
Experimentation is at the heart of scientific inquiry. In the behavioral and neural sciences, where only a limited number of observations can often be made, it is ideal to design an experiment that leads to the rapid accumulation of information about the phenomenon under study. Adaptive experimentation has the potential to accelerate scientific progress by maximizing inferential gain in such research settings. To date, most adaptive experiments have relied on myopic, one-step-ahead strategies in which the stimulus on each trial is selected to maximize inference on the next trial only...
December 18, 2016: Cognitive Science
Sunae Kim, Markus Paulus, Chuck Kalish
Prior work shows that children selectively learn from credible speakers. Yet little is known how they treat information from non-credible speakers. This research examined to what extent and under what conditions children may or may not learn from problematic sources. In three studies, we found that children displayed trust toward previously inaccurate speakers. Children were equally likely to extend labels from previously accurate and inaccurate speakers to novel objects. Moreover, they expected third parties to share labels provided by previously inaccurate speakers...
December 18, 2016: Cognitive Science
Sophie Dufour, Noël Nguyen
In this study, we examined whether the lexical competition process embraced by most models of spoken word recognition is sensitive to talker-specific information. We used a lexical decision task and a long lag priming experiment in which primes and targets sharing all phonemes except the last one (e.g., /bagaR/"fight" vs. /bagaƷ/"luggage") were presented in two separate blocks of stimuli. In Experiment 1, the competitor prime block was presented only once to listeners, and no modulation of the competitor priming effect as a function of a talker change between the primes and targets was observed...
December 10, 2016: Cognitive Science
Steven O Roberts, Susan A Gelman, Arnold K Ho
When do descriptive regularities (what characteristics individuals have) become prescriptive norms (what characteristics individuals should have)? We examined children's (4-13 years) and adults' use of group regularities to make prescriptive judgments, employing novel groups (Hibbles and Glerks) that engaged in morally neutral behaviors (e.g., eating different kinds of berries). Participants were introduced to conforming or non-conforming individuals (e.g., a Hibble who ate berries more typical of a Glerk)...
December 3, 2016: Cognitive Science
Annie Gagliardi, Naomi H Feldman, Jeffrey Lidz
Children acquiring languages with noun classes (grammatical gender) have ample statistical information available that characterizes the distribution of nouns into these classes, but their use of this information to classify novel nouns differs from the predictions made by an optimal Bayesian classifier. We use rational analysis to investigate the hypothesis that children are classifying nouns optimally with respect to a distribution that does not match the surface distribution of statistical features in their input...
January 2017: Cognitive Science
Eva M Vecchi, Marco Marelli, Roberto Zamparelli, Marco Baroni
Sophisticated senator and legislative onion. Whether or not you have ever heard of these things, we all have some intuition that one of them makes much less sense than the other. In this paper, we introduce a large dataset of human judgments about novel adjective-noun phrases. We use these data to test an approach to semantic deviance based on phrase representations derived with compositional distributional semantic methods, that is, methods that derive word meanings from contextual information, and approximate phrase meanings by combining word meanings...
January 2017: Cognitive Science
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