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Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP

Paola Angelelli, Chiara Valeria Marinelli, Anna Putzolu, Alessandra Notarnicola, Marika Iaia, Cristina Burani
We examined how whole-word lexical information and knowledge of distributional properties of orthography interact in children's spelling. High- versus low-frequency words, which included inconsistently spelled segments occurring more or less frequently in the orthography, were used in two experiments: (a) word spelling; (b) lexical priming of pseudoword spelling. Participants were 1st-, 2nd-, and 4th-grade Italian children. Word spelling showed sensitivity to the distributional properties of orthography in all children: accuracy in spelling uncommon transcription segments emerged progressively as a function of word frequency and schooling...
February 1, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Mary Parkinson, Ruth M J Byrne
Two experiments examine whether people reason differently about intentional and accidental violations in the moral domains of harm and purity, by examining moral responsibility and wrongness judgments for violations that affect others or the self. The first experiment shows that intentional violations are judged to be worse than accidental ones, regardless of whether they are harm or purity violations-for example, Sam poisons his colleague versus Sam eats his dog, when participants judge how morally responsible was Sam for what he did, or how morally wrong was what Sam did...
January 31, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Jeffrey B Wagman, Thomas A Stoffregen, Jiuyang Bai, Daniel S Schloesser
Affordances are available behaviors that emerge out of relations between properties of animals and properties of their environment. Affordances are nested within one another. One way to conceptualize this nesting is through a mean-ends hierarchy. Previous research has shown that perceivers are sensitive to hierarchical means-ends relationships when perceiving affordances for their own actions. Affordances are also nested in a social context. We investigated perception of hierarchical mean-ends nesting of affordances for another person's actions...
January 31, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Jane Ashby, Carlos Roncero, Roberto G de Almeida, Stephen J Agauas
This eye movement study examined how people read nominal metaphors and similes in order to investigate how the surface form, or wording, of these expressions affected early processing. Participants silently read metaphors (knowledge is a river) and similes (knowledge is like a river). The identical words were used in the topic-vehicle pair (knowledge-river) in both conditions. Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrated longer reading times and a higher proportion of regressions in metaphors than in similes. Familiarity modulated later metaphor effects in Experiment 1, but not in Experiment 2...
January 31, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Jason Rajsic, Daryl E Wilson, Jay Pratt
In visual search, there is a confirmation bias such that attention is biased towards stimuli that match a target template, which has been attributed to covert costs of updating the templates that guide search [Rajsic, Wilson, & Pratt, 2015. Confirmation bias in visual search. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/xhp0000090 ]. In order to provide direct evidence for this speculation, the present study increased the cost of inspections in search by using gaze- and mouse-contingent searches, which restrict the manner in which information in search displays can be accrued, and incur additional motor costs (in the case of mouse-contingent searches)...
January 31, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Olivia Afonso, Paz Suárez-Coalla, Nagore González-Martín, Fernando Cuetos
Although several studies have found that the sublexical route of spelling has an effect on handwriting movements, the ability of lexical variables to modulate peripheral processes during writing is less clear. This study addresses the hypothesis that word frequency affects writing durations only during writing acquisition, and that at some point of development, the handwriting system becomes a relatively autonomous system unaffected by lexical variables. Spanish children attending Grades 2, 4, and 6 performed a spelling-to-dictation and a copy task in which word frequency was manipulated...
January 18, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Teresa Schubert, Sachiko Kinoshita, Dennis Norris
Nonwords created by transposing two non-adjacent orthographic consonants (CONDISER) have been reported to produce more priming for their baseword (CONSIDER), and to be classified as a nonword less readily than nonwords created by transposing two orthographic vowels (CINSODER). We investigate the origin of this difference and its relevance for theories of letter position coding. In the unprimed versions of the lexical decision and same-different tasks, a consonant-vowel difference was found in the transposition condition, not when those letters are substituted (Experiment 1)...
January 17, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Gustav Kuhn, Robert Teszka
Previous research has revealed marked improvements in cognitive control between the age of 10 years and adulthood. The aim of the current study was to explore differences in attentional control between adults and children within a natural context, namely whilst they were watching a magic trick. We measured participants' eye movements whilst they watched a misdirection trick in which attentional misdirection was used to prevent observers from noticing a salient visual event. Half of our participants failed to detect this event even though it took place in full view...
January 13, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Yin Zhang, Chaoxiong Ye, Debi Roberson, Guang Zhao, Chengbo Xue, Qiang Liu
Previous research has demonstrated that visual working memory performance is better when visual items are allocated in both left and right visual fields compared to within only one hemifield. This phenomenon is called the bilateral field advantage (BFA). The BFA is thought to be driven by an enhanced probability of storage, rather than by greater precision. In the present experiments, we sought to test whether the BFA can also extend to precision when the parameters of the task are modified. Using a moderate number of to-be-remembered items and 400 ms presentation time, we found better precision in the bilateral condition compared to the unilateral condition...
January 9, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Andrey Anikin, César F Lima
Most research on nonverbal emotional vocalizations is based on actor portrayals, but how similar are they to the vocalizations produced spontaneously in everyday life? Perceptual and acoustic differences have been discovered between spontaneous and volitional laughs, but little is known about other emotions. We compared 362 acted vocalizations from seven corpora with 427 authentic vocalizations using acoustic analysis, and 278 vocalizations (139 authentic and 139 acted) were also tested in a forced-choice authenticity detection task (N = 154 listeners)...
January 9, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Li Zhang, Ziqiang Xin, Tingyong Feng, Yinghe Chen, Denes Szűcs
Recent studies have highlighted the fact that some tasks used to study symbolic number representations are confounded by judgments about physical similarity. Here, we investigated whether the contribution of physical similarity and numerical representation differed in the often used symbolic same-different, numerical comparison, physical comparison, and priming tasks. Experiment 1 showed that subjective physical similarity was the best predictor of participants' performance in the same-different task, regardless of simultaneous or sequential presentation...
January 5, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Gabriele Wulf, Rebecca Lewthwaite, Priscila Cardozo, Suzete Chiviacowsky
In the OPTIMAL theory of motor learning (Wulf & Lewthwaite, 2016), 3 factors are postulated to facilitate learning: Enhanced expectancies (EE) for performance, autonomy support (AS), and an external focus (EF) of attention. Enhancing learners' expectancies for future performance (e. g., through positive feedback) benefits learning. Further, supporting learners' need for autonomy (e.g., by giving them choices) has been found to promote learning. Finally, directing learners' attention to the intended movement effect (external focus) has beneficial effects for learning...
January 5, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
André Vandierendonck, Maaike Loncke, Robert J Hartsuiker, Timothy Desmet
In sentences with a complex subject noun phrase, like "The key to the cabinets is lost", the grammatical number of the head noun (key) may be the same or different from the modifier noun phrase (cabinets). When the number is the same, comprehension is usually easier than when it is different. Grammatical number computation may occur while processing the modifier noun (integration phase) or while processing the verb (checking phase). We investigated at which phase number conflict and plausibility of the modifier noun as subject for the verb affect processing, and we imposed a gaze-contingent tone discrimination task in either phase to test whether number computation involves executive control...
January 5, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Nora Fieder, Lyndsey Nickels, Trudy Krajenbrink, Britta Biedermann
In the research presented here a picture-word interference paradigm was used to investigate how grammatical mass/count (countability) information is processed during noun phrase production in English. Levelt, Roelofs and Meyer's (1999) theory distinguishes between two different types of lexical-syntactic information: variable extrinsic lexical-syntactic features such as number (singular, plural) and fixed intrinsic lexical-syntactic properties such as grammatical gender (e.g., masculine, feminine). Previous research using the picture-word interference paradigm has found effects of distractor lexical-syntactic congruency for grammatical gender but no congruency effects for number...
January 5, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Luca Rinaldi, Francesca Locati, Laura Parolin, Luisa Girelli
Humans show a systematic tendency to perceive the future as psychologically closer than the past. Based on the clinical hypothesis that anxiety would be associated more with future threat life events, whereas depression with past loss events, here we explored whether people with anxiety- and depression-related personality traits perceive differently the psychological distance of temporal events. Results showed that the common tendency to perceive the future as psychologically closer than the past is exaggerated in individuals with anxiety-related personality traits, whereas this asymmetry drastically shrinks in individuals with depression-related personality traits...
January 5, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Jukka Hyönä, Ming Yan, Seppo Vainio
The preferred viewing location in words [Rayner, K. (1979). Eye guidance in reading: Fixation locations within words. Perception, 8, 21-30] during reading is near the word centre. Parafoveal word length information is utilized to guide the eyes toward it. A recent study by Yan and colleagues [Yan, M., Zhou, W., Shu, H., Yusupu, R., Miao, D., Krügel, A., & Kliegl, R. (2014). Eye movements guided by morphological structure: Evidence from the Uighur language. Cognition, 132, 181-215] demonstrated that the word's morphological structure may also be used in saccadic targeting...
January 3, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Chuanli Zang, Manman Zhang, Xuejun Bai, Guoli Yan, Bernhard Angele, Simon P Liversedge
English readers do not fixate every word: during their first pass through a sentence they skip a third of the words (Rayner, 1998, 2009). How do readers decide whether to skip or fixate a word? Angele and Rayner (2013) showed that English readers base skipping decisions on the parafoveal information available, but not the sentential context. Due to the increased visual density of the language, Chinese readers may be able to process a parafoveal word and integrate it with the sentence context to a greater extent than English readers...
December 21, 2016: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Lili Yu, Qiaoming Zhang, Caspian Priest, Erik D Reichle, Heather Sheridan
Three eye-movement experiments were conducted to examine how the complexity of characters in Chinese words (i.e., number of strokes per character) influences their processing and eye-movement behavior. In Experiment 1, English speakers with no significant knowledge of Chinese searched for specific low-, medium-, and high-complexity target characters in a multi-page narrative containing characters of varying complexity (3-16 strokes). Fixation durations and skipping rates were influenced by the visual complexity of both the target characters and the characters being searched, with the latter findings replicating previous reports (e...
December 15, 2016: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Omar D Pérez, Michael R F Aitken, Peter Zhukovsky, Fabián A Soto, Gonzalo P Urcelay, Anthony Dickinson
Associative learning theories regard the probability of reinforcement as the critical factor determining responding. However, the role of this factor in instrumental conditioning is not completely clear. In fact, free-operant experiments show that participants respond at a higher rate on variable ratio than on variable interval schedules even though the reinforcement probability is matched between the schedules. This difference has been attributed to the differential reinforcement of long inter-response times (IRTs) by interval schedules, which acts to slow responding...
December 15, 2016: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Daniel R Buttaccio, Nicholas D Lange, Rick P Thomas, Michael R Dougherty
We examine whether constraining memory retrieval processes affects performance in a cued recall visual search task. In the visual search task, participants are first presented with a memory prompt followed by a search array. The memory prompt provides diagnostic information regarding a critical aspect of the target (its color). We assume that upon the presentation of the memory prompt, participants retrieve and maintain hypotheses (i.e., potential target characteristics) in working memory in order to improve their search efficiency...
December 14, 2016: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
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