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Topics in Cognitive Science

Lorraine Hope, Fiona Gabbert
In many applied contexts where accurate and reliable information informs operational decision-making, emergency response resource allocation, efficient investigation, judicial process, and, ultimately, the delivery of justice, the costs of unfettered conversational remembering can be high. To date, research has demonstrated that conversations between co-witnesses in the immediate aftermath of witnessed events and co-witness retellings of witnessed events often impair both the quality and quantity of information reported subsequently...
August 2, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Desmond C Ong, Jamil Zaki, Noah D Goodman
Research on social cognition has fruitfully applied computational modeling approaches to explain how observers understand and reason about others' mental states. By contrast, there has been less work on modeling observers' understanding of emotional states. We propose an intuitive theory framework to studying affective cognition-how humans reason about emotions-and derive a taxonomy of inferences within affective cognition. Using this taxonomy, we review formal computational modeling work on such inferences, including causal reasoning about how others react to events, reasoning about unseen causes of emotions, reasoning with multiple cues, as well as reasoning from emotions to other mental states...
July 31, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Piek Vossen, Tommaso Caselli, Agata Cybulska
Will reading different stories about the same event in the world result in a similar image of the world? Will reading the same story by different people result in a similar proxy for experiencing the story? The answer to both questions is no because language is abstract by definition and relies on our episodic experience to turn a story into a more concrete mental movie. Since our episodic knowledge differs, also the mental movie will be different. Language leaves out details, and this becomes specifically clear when building machines that read texts to represent events and to establish event relations across mentions, such as co-reference, causality, subevents, scripts, timelines, and storylines...
July 31, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Vesa Peltokorpi, Anthony C Hood
Transactive memory systems (TMS) theory has attracted considerable attention in the scholarly fields of cognitive, organizational, and social psychology; communication; information science; and management. A central theme underlying and connecting these scholarly fields has been the role of interpersonal communication in explaining how members of dyads, groups, and teams learn "who knows what," specialize in different information domains, and retrieve information from domain experts. However, because theoretical and empirical evidence is scattered across related, yet distinct scholarly fields, it is difficult to determine how and why communication influences TMS and related outcomes...
July 27, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Nicole Alea, Susan Bluck, Emily L Mroz, Zanique Edwards
Receiving another's autobiographical story may serve to elicit feelings of liking and empathy for the story sharer. Research has mostly examined social functions of autobiographical stories for in-person communications. The current experiment (N = 60) examined whether levels of liking, closeness, and empathy felt for a stranger (female confederate) after receiving her story depended on if (a) the story was received in-person or through instant message (IM), and (b) the story was positive or negative. Liking and having empathy for the stranger was higher in the in-person conditions compared to IM conditions...
July 22, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Jutta L Mueller, Carel Ten Cate, Juan M Toro
Most human language learners acquire language primarily via the auditory modality. This is one reason why auditory artificial grammars play a prominent role in the investigation of the development and evolutionary roots of human syntax. The present position paper brings together findings from human and non-human research on the impact of auditory cues on learning about linguistic structures with a special focus on how different types of cues and biases in auditory cognition may contribute to success and failure in artificial grammar learning (AGL)...
July 22, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Ivan Colagè, Francesco d'Errico
It is often, though sometimes only implicitly, assumed that biological/genetic evolution sets neural substrates, that neural substrates fix cognitive abilities, and that cognitive abilities determine the spectrum of cultural practices exhibited by a biological species. We label this view as the "bottom-up-only" view. In this paper we will show that such a "chain of dependence" is much looser than usually assumed, especially as far as recent periods (the last 800,000 years vs. the last 7 million years or more) are considered...
July 22, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Charles B Stone, Qi Wang
Social media has become one of the most powerful and ubiquitous means by which individuals curate, share, and communicate information with their friends, family, and the world at large. Indeed, 90% of the American adolescents are active social media users, as well as 65% of American adults (Perrin, 2015; see also Duggan & Brenner, 2013). Despite this, psychologists are only beginning to understand the mnemonic consequences associated with social media use. In this article, we will distill this nascent literature by focusing on two primary factors: the type of information (personal vs...
July 5, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Don Fallis
We want to keep hackers in the dark about our passwords and our credit card numbers. We want to keep potential eavesdroppers in the dark about our private communications with friends and business associates. This need for secrecy raises important questions in epistemology (how do we do it?) and in ethics (should we do it?). In order to answer these questions, it would be useful to have a good understanding of the concept of keeping someone in the dark. Several philosophers (e.g., Bok, 1983; Carson, 2010; Mahon, 2009; Scheppele, 1988) have analyzed this concept (or, equivalently, the concept of keeping secrets) in terms of concealing and/or withholding information...
July 1, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Yoella Bereby-Meyer, Sayuri Hayakawa, Shaul Shalvi, Joanna D Corey, Albert Costa, Boaz Keysar
Theories of dishonest behavior implicitly assume language independence. Here, we investigated this assumption by comparing lying by people using a foreign language versus their native tongue. Participants rolled a die and were paid according to the outcome they reported. Because the outcome was private, they could lie to inflate their profit without risk of repercussions. Participants performed the task either in their native language or in a foreign language. With native speakers of Hebrew, Korean, Spanish, and English, we discovered that, on average, people inflate their earnings less when they use a foreign language...
July 1, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Lucas M Bietti, Ottilie Tilston, Adrian Bangerter
Storytelling represents a key element in the creation and propagation of culture. Three main accounts of the adaptive function of storytelling include (a) manipulating the behavior of the audience to enhance the fitness of the narrator, (b) transmitting survival-relevant information while avoiding the costs involved in the first-hand acquisition of that information, and (c) maintaining social bonds or group-level cooperation. We assess the substantial evidence collected in experimental and ethnographic studies for each account...
June 28, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Ercenur Ünal, Anna Papafragou
Understanding and acquiring language involve mapping language onto conceptual representations. Nevertheless, several issues remain unresolved with respect to (a) how such mappings are performed, and (b) whether conceptual representations are susceptible to cross-linguistic influences. In this article, we discuss these issues focusing on the domain of evidentiality and sources of knowledge. Empirical evidence in this domain yields growing support for the proposal that linguistic categories of evidentiality are tightly linked to, build on, and reflect conceptual representations of sources of knowledge that are shared across speakers of different languages...
June 22, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Marianna Bolognesi, Gerard Steen
Our ability to deal with abstract concepts is one of the most intriguing faculties of human cognition. Still, we know little about how such concepts are formed, processed, and represented in mind. For example, because abstract concepts do not designate referents that can be experienced through our body, the role of perceptual experiences in shaping their content remains controversial. Current theories suggest a variety of alternative explanations to the question of "how abstract concepts are represented in the human mind...
June 22, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Natalie Merrill, Jordan A Booker, Robyn Fivush
Family stories help shape identity and provide a foundation for navigating life events during adolescence and early adulthood. However, little research examines the types of stories passed onto adolescents and emerging adults, the extent to which these stories are retained and accessible, and the potentially influential parental- and self-identity content constructed in telling these stories. Across three samples, we investigate the accessibility and functions of intergenerational narratives that adolescents and emerging adults know of their parents...
June 21, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Lila R Gleitman, John C Trueswell
This article describes early stages in the acquisition of a first vocabulary by infants and young children. It distinguishes two major stages, the first of which operates by a stand-alone word-to-world pairing procedure and the second of which, using the evidence so acquired, builds a domain-specific syntax-sensitive structure-to-world pairing procedure. As we show, the first stage of learning is slow, restricted in character, and to some extent errorful, whereas the second procedure is determinative, rapid, and essentially errorless...
June 15, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Linda M Geven, Gershon Ben-Shakhar, Merel Kindt, Bruno Verschuere
From a cognitive perspective, lying can be regarded as a complex cognitive process requiring the interplay of several executive functions. Meta-analytic research on 114 studies encompassing 3,307 participants (Suchotzki, Verschuere, Van Bockstaele, Ben-Shakhar, & Crombez, ) suggests that computerized paradigms can reliably assess the cognitive burden of lying, with large reaction time differences between lying and truth telling. These studies, however, lack a key ingredient of real-life deception, namely self-initiated behavior...
June 15, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Jonny Kim, Katie Drager
Previous work on English and Korean demonstrates that words are more quickly identified as real words when they are produced by a voice congruent with the age of the talkers who are most likely to use the word (Kim, 2016, Laboratory Phonology, 7, 18; Walker & Hay, 2011, Laboratory Phonology, 2, 219-237). However, this previous work presents stimuli blocked by voice, giving the participant ample time to form expectations about the talker and the words that the talker would likely use. To test whether the effect can be observed in the absence of cues to talker age prior to word onset, the current experiment replicates Kim (2016, Laboratory Phonology, 7, 18) but without blocking by talker...
June 13, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Peter M Krafft
Researchers have recently demonstrated that group performance across tasks tends to be correlated, motivating the use of a single metric for the general collective intelligence of groups akin to general intelligence metrics for individuals. High general collective intelligence is achieved when a group performs well across a wide variety of tasks. A number of factors have been shown to be predictive of general collective intelligence, but there is sparse formal theory explaining the presence of correlations across tasks, betraying a fundamental gap in our understanding of what general collective intelligence is measuring...
June 13, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Max M Louwerse
Debates on meaning and cognition suggest that an embodied cognition account is exclusive of a symbolic cognition account. Decades of research in the cognitive sciences have, however, shown that these accounts are not at all mutually exclusive. Acknowledging cognition is both symbolic and embodied generates more relevant questions that propel, rather than divide, the cognitive sciences: questions such as how computational symbolic findings map onto experimental embodied findings, and under what conditions cognition is relatively more symbolic or embodied in nature...
May 30, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Celia B Harris, Amanda J Barnier, John Sutton, Greg Savage
While we often engage in conversational reminiscing with loved ones, the effects of these conversations on our memory performance remain poorly understood. On the one hand, Wegner's transactive memory theory predicts that intimate groups experience benefits from remembering together. On the other hand, research on collaborative recall has shown costs of shared remembering in groups of strangers-at least in terms of number of items recalled-and even in intimate groups there is heterogeneity in outcomes. In the current research, we studied the effects of particular communicative features in determining the outcomes of collaborative recall in intimate groups...
May 30, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
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