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Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

Marina C Wimmer, Steven Stirk, Peter J B Hancock
This study examined the effects of ego depletion on ambiguous figure perception. Adults (N = 315) received an ego depletion task and were subsequently tested on their inhibitory control abilities that were indexed by the Stroop task (Experiment 1) and their ability to perceive both interpretations of ambiguous figures that was indexed by reversal (Experiment 2). Ego depletion had a very small effect on reducing inhibitory control (Cohen's d = .15) (Experiment 1). Ego-depleted participants had a tendency to take longer to respond in Stroop trials...
February 22, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Gordon Pennycook, Robert M Ross, Derek J Koehler, Jonathan A Fugelsang
The Dunning-Kruger effect refers to the observation that the incompetent are often ill-suited to recognize their incompetence. Here we investigated potential Dunning-Kruger effects in high-level reasoning and, in particular, focused on the relative effectiveness of metacognitive monitoring among particularly biased reasoners. Participants who made the greatest numbers of errors on the cognitive reflection test (CRT) overestimated their performance on this test by a factor of more than 3. Overestimation decreased as CRT performance increased, and those who scored particularly high underestimated their performance...
February 21, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Michael J Carter, Diane M Ste-Marie
Lewthwaite et al. (2015) reported that the learning benefits of exercising choice (i.e., their self-controlled condition) are not restricted to task-relevant features (e.g., feedback). They found that choosing one's golf ball color (Exp. 1) or choosing which of two tasks to perform at a later time plus which of two artworks to hang (Exp. 2) resulted in better retention than did being denied these same choices (i.e., yoked condition). The researchers concluded that the learning benefits derived from choice, whether irrelevant or relevant to the to-be-learned task, are predominantly motivational because choice is intrinsically rewarding and satisfies basic psychological needs...
February 21, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Matthew W Lowder, Peter C Gordon
Individual readers vary greatly in the quality of their lexical representations, and consequently in how quickly and efficiently they can access orthographic and lexical knowledge. This variability may be explained, at least in part, by individual differences in exposure to printed language, because practice at reading promotes the development of stronger reading skills. In the present eyetracking experiment, we tested the hypothesis that the efficiency of word recognition during reading improves with increases in print exposure, by determining whether the magnitude of the repetition-priming effect is modulated by individual differences in scores on the author recognition test (ART)...
February 21, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Matthew M Walsh, Glenn Gunzelmann, Hans P A Van Dongen
Computational models have become common tools in psychology. They provide quantitative instantiations of theories that seek to explain the functioning of the human mind. In this paper, we focus on identifying deep theoretical similarities between two very different models. Both models are concerned with how fatigue from sleep loss impacts cognitive processing. The first is based on the diffusion model and posits that fatigue decreases the drift rate of the diffusion process. The second is based on the Adaptive Control of Thought - Rational (ACT-R) cognitive architecture and posits that fatigue decreases the utility of candidate actions leading to microlapses in cognitive processing...
February 16, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Brian A Anderson, Michelle Chiu, Michelle M DiBartolo, Stephanie L Leal
When predictive of extrinsic reward as targets, stimuli rapidly acquire the ability to automatically capture attention. Attentional biases for former targets of visual search also can develop without reward feedback but typically require much longer training. These learned biases towards former targets often are conceptualized within a single framework and might differ merely in degree. That is, both are the result of the reinforcement of selection history, with extrinsic reward for correct report of the target providing greater reinforcement than correct report alone...
February 16, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Swathi Swaminathan, E Glenn Schellenberg
We investigated whether musical competence was associated with the perception of foreign-language phonemes. The sample comprised adult native-speakers of English who varied in music training. The measures included tests of general cognitive abilities, melody and rhythm perception, and the perception of consonantal contrasts that were phonemic in Zulu but not in English. Music training was associated positively with performance on the tests of melody and rhythm perception, but not with performance on the phoneme-perception task...
February 15, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Jerome D Hoover, Alice F Healy
The classic bat-and-ball problem is used widely to measure biased and correct reasoning in decision-making. University students overwhelmingly tend to provide the biased answer to this problem. To what extent might reasoners be led to modify their judgement, and, more specifically, is it possible to facilitate problem solution by prompting participants to consider the problem from an algebraic perspective? One hundred ninety-seven participants were recruited to investigate the effect of algebraic cueing as a debiasing strategy on variants of the bat-and-ball problem...
February 14, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Bärbel Garsoffky, Markus Huff, Stephan Schwan
In everyday life, when observing activities taking place in our environment, we often shift our attention among several activities and therefore perceive each activity sequence piecemeal with temporal gaps in between. Two studies examined whether the length of these gaps influences the processing of the observed activities. Experiment 1 presented film clips depicting activities that were interrupted by either short or long gaps and asked participants to estimate how long the target action presented at the end of the clip would normally take if it were to take place in reality...
February 13, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Michael D Lee, Wolf Vanpaemel
The development of cognitive models involves the creative scientific formalization of assumptions, based on theory, observation, and other relevant information. In the Bayesian approach to implementing, testing, and using cognitive models, assumptions can influence both the likelihood function of the model, usually corresponding to assumptions about psychological processes, and the prior distribution over model parameters, usually corresponding to assumptions about the psychological variables that influence those processes...
February 13, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Michael T Turvey, Adam Sheya
The sciences of development and learning have been slow to acknowledge that absence of an identifiable experience that relates straightforwardly to a given perception-action ability need not mean that experience per se is irrelevant to the emergence of that ability. A recent study reveals that a difference in diet (plain vs. energy rich) leads to a difference in how rats navigate (use of geometry vs. use of features, respectively). It is a good example of how a seemingly unrelated experience (e.g., what the rats eat) can be a non-obvious yet crucial determiner of perception-action modes...
February 10, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
John K Kruschke, Torrin M Liddell
In the practice of data analysis, there is a conceptual distinction between hypothesis testing, on the one hand, and estimation with quantified uncertainty on the other. Among frequentists in psychology, a shift of emphasis from hypothesis testing to estimation has been dubbed "the New Statistics" (Cumming 2014). A second conceptual distinction is between frequentist methods and Bayesian methods. Our main goal in this article is to explain how Bayesian methods achieve the goals of the New Statistics better than frequentist methods...
February 7, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Eric J Rindal, Quin M Chrobak, Maria S Zaragoza, Caitlin A Weihing
In a recent paper, Chrobak and Zaragoza (Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 142(3), 827-844, 2013) proposed the explanatory role hypothesis, which posits that the likelihood of developing false memories for post-event suggestions is a function of the explanatory function the suggestion serves. In support of this hypothesis, they provided evidence that participant-witnesses were especially likely to develop false memories for their forced fabrications when their fabrications helped to explain outcomes they had witnessed...
February 7, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Candice M Mills, Judith H Danovitch, Sydney P Rowles, Ian L Campbell
These studies explore elementary-school-aged children's ability to evaluate circular explanations and whether they respond to receiving weak explanations by expressing interest in additional learning. In the first study, 6-, 8-, and 10-year-olds (n = 53) heard why questions about unfamiliar animals. For each question, they rated the quality of single explanations and later selected the best explanation between pairs of circular and noncircular explanations. When judging single explanations, 8- and 10-year-olds, and to some extent 6-year-olds, provided higher ratings for noncircular explanations compared to circular ones...
February 7, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Andrew Shtulman, Caitlin Morgan
A common intuition, often captured in fiction, is that some impossible events (e.g., levitating a stone) are "more impossible" than others (e.g., levitating a feather). We investigated the source of this intuition, hypothesizing that graded notions of impossibility arise from explanatory considerations logically precluded by the violation at hand but still taken into account. Studies 1-4 involved college undergraduates (n = 357), and Study 5 involved preschool-aged children (n = 32). In Studies 1 and 2, participants saw pairs of magical spells that violated one of 18 causal principles-six physical, six biological, and six psychological-and were asked to indicate which spell would be more difficult to learn...
February 7, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Caren M Walker, Elizabeth Bonawitz, Tania Lombrozo
Research suggests that the process of explaining influences causal reasoning by prompting learners to favor hypotheses that offer "good" explanations. One feature of a good explanation is its simplicity. Here, we investigate whether prompting children to generate explanations for observed effects increases the extent to which they favor causal hypotheses that offer simpler explanations, and whether this changes over the course of development. Children aged 4, 5, and 6 years observed several outcomes that could be explained by appeal to a common cause (the simple hypothesis) or two independent causes (the complex hypothesis)...
February 7, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Jacqueline D Woolley, Chelsea A Cornelius
Children aged 5 through 9 years and adults judged the reality status of parallel mundane, improbable, and extraordinary events, generated an explanation for each event, and evaluated explanations purportedly generated by other participants. Participants of all ages claimed that mundane and improbable events could happen, whereas extraordinary events could not. Participants also overwhelmingly generated natural explanations for all three types of events but did so most for mundane, less for improbable, and least for extraordinary events...
February 7, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Jeffrey B Wagman, Matthew D Langley, Valeri Farmer-Dougan
Performing any behavior requires perceiving affordances-whether and how that behavior can be performed. Perception of affordances exhibits action scaling-choices about when to transition between two different modes of behavior reflect the fit between action capabilities and environmental properties. The boundary between distances that are perceived to be reachable with an arm-only reach and those that are perceived to be reachable with an arm-plus-torso reach occurs at farther distances for long-armed than for short-armed people, but at the same ratio of object-distance-to-arm length for both groups...
February 6, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Benjamin van Buren, Tao Gao, Brian J Scholl
One of the most foundational questions that can be asked about any visual process is the nature of the underlying 'units' over which it operates (e.g., features, objects, or spatial regions). Here we address this question-for the first time, to our knowledge-in the context of the perception of animacy. Even simple geometric shapes appear animate when they move in certain ways. Do such percepts arise whenever any visual feature moves appropriately, or do they require that the relevant features first be individuated as discrete objects? Observers viewed displays in which one disc (the "wolf") chased another (the "sheep") among several moving distractor discs...
February 3, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Emma Wu Dowd, John M Pearson, Tobias Egner
What we are currently thinking influences where we attend. The finding that active maintenance of visual items in working memory (WM) biases attention toward memory-matching objects-even when WM content is irrelevant for attentional goals-suggests a tight link between WM and attention. To test whether this link is reliable enough to infer specific WM content from measures of attentional bias, we applied multivariate pattern classification techniques to response times from an unrelated visual search task during a WM delay...
February 2, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
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