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Psychon Bull Rev [journal]
- Retrieval practice over the long term: Should spacing be expanding or equal-interval? [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Apr 18.
If multiple opportunities are available to review to-be-learned material, should a review occur soon after initial study and recur at progressively expanding intervals, or should the reviews occur at equal intervals? Landauer and Bjork (1978) argued for the superiority of expanding intervals, whereas more recent research has often failed to find any advantage. However, these prior studies have generally compared expanding versus equal-interval training within a single session, and have assessed effects only upon a single final test. We argue that a more generally important goal would be to maintain high average performance over a considerable period of training. For the learning of foreign vocabulary spread over four weeks, we found that expanding retrieval practice (i.e., sessions separated by increasing numbers of days) produced recall equivalent to that from equal-interval practice on a final test given eight weeks after training. However, the expanding schedule yielded much higher average recallability over the whole training period.
- Disentangling posterror and postconflict reduction of interference. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Apr 17.
Conflict monitoring theory (CMT; Botvinick, Braver, Barch, Carter, & Cohen Psychological Review, 108, 624-652, 2001) states that response conflict, the simultaneous activation of two competing responses, increases task focus and reduces interference from irrelevant information. CMT also defines errors as conflict, and reduced interference effects have consistently been reported following errors (Ridderinkhof Psychological Research, 66, 312-323, 2002). However, previous computations of this posterror reduction of interference (PERI) have overlooked the congruency of the previous trial. This is problematic, because most errors are made on incongruent trials, creating a confound between (previous) accuracy and (previous) congruency. Therefore, it is likely that reduced interference following errors is in fact the congruency sequence effect (i.e., reduced interference following incongruent, relative to congruent, trials). Our results corroborate this idea by demonstrating that participants indeed showed significant PERI following a congruent trial, but inverse PERI following an incongruent trial. These findings are discussed in light of the adaptation-by-binding account (Verguts & Notebaert Psychological Review, 115, 518-525, 2008, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13, 252-257, 2009).
- The role of expectancies in the size-weight illusion: A review of theoretical and empirical arguments and a new explanation. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Apr 16.
The size-weight illusion (SWI) refers to the phenomenon that objects that are objectively equal in weight but different in size or volume are perceived to differ in weight, such that smaller objects feel heavier than larger ones. This article reviews studies trying to support three different viewpoints with respect to the role of expectancies in causing the SWI. The first viewpoint argues for a crucial role; the second admits a role, yet without seeing consequences for sensorimotor processes; and the third denies any causal role for expectancies at all. A new explanation of the SWI is proposed that can integrate the different arguments. A distinctive feature of the new explanation is that it recognizes the causal influence of expectancies, yet combines this with certain reactive and direct behavioral consequences of perceiving size differences that are independent of experience-based expectancies, and that normally result in the adaptive application of forces to lift or handle differently sized objects. The new account explains why the illusion is associated with the repeated generation of inappropriate lifting forces (which can, however, be modified through extensive training), as well as why it depends on continuous visual exposure to size cues, appears at an early age, and is cognitively impenetrable.
- The politics of color: Preferences for Republican red versus Democratic blue. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Apr 15.
The present study reveals that Election Day differentially affects the color preferences of US Republicans and Democrats. Voters' preferences for Republican red and Democratic blue were assessed, along with several distractor colors, on and around the 2010 interim and 2012 presidential elections. On non-Election Days, Republicans and Democrats preferred Republican red equally, and Republicans actually preferred Democratic blue more than Democrats did. On Election Day, however, Republicans' and Democrats' color preferences changed to become more closely aligned with their own party's colors. Republicans liked Republican red more than Democrats did, and no longer preferred Democratic blue more than Democrats did. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that color preferences are determined by people's preferences for correspondingly colored objects/entities (Palmer & Schloss in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107:8877-8882, 2010). They further suggest that color preferences are calculated at a given moment, depending on which color-object associations are currently most activated or salient. Color preferences are thus far more dynamic and context-dependent than has previously been believed.
- Interference due to shared features between action plans is influenced by working memory span. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Apr 9.
In this study, we examined the interactions between the action plans that we hold in memory and the actions that we carry out, asking whether the interference due to shared features between action plans is due to selection demands imposed on working memory. Individuals with low and high working memory spans learned arbitrary motor actions in response to two different visual events (A and B), presented in a serial order. They planned a response to the first event (A) and while maintaining this action plan in memory they then executed a speeded response to the second event (B). Afterward, they executed the action plan for the first event (A) maintained in memory. Speeded responses to the second event (B) were delayed when it shared an action feature (feature overlap) with the first event (A), relative to when it did not (no feature overlap). The size of the feature-overlap delay was greater for low-span than for high-span participants. This indicates that interference due to overlapping action plans is greater when fewer working memory resources are available, suggesting that this interference is due to selection demands imposed on working memory. Thus, working memory plays an important role in managing current and upcoming action plans, at least for newly learned tasks. Also, managing multiple action plans is compromised in individuals who have low versus high working memory spans.
- The spatial Stroop effect: A comparison of color-word and position-word interference. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Apr 5.
The Stroop effect is one of the most famous examples of interference in human perception. The present study demonstrates that a position Stroop paradigm, comparable to the classical color-word interference paradigm, resulted in the same pattern of interference for the spatial dimension; however, the interference was significantly weaker. By exchanging the original oral response for a manual response in the spatial paradigm, we showed that the verbal component is crucial for the Stroop effect: Manual responses lead to a disappearance of the interference effect. Moreover, with manual responses word position was recognized at the same speed for the baseline condition and for words that were incongruent as well as congruent with the spatial position. The results indicate (1) that the Stoop effect depends heavily on verbal components and (2) that differing processing speeds between reading and position recognition do not serve as a proper explanation for the effect. In addition, the provided paradigm plausibly transfers the classical color-word interference to the spatial dimension.
- The object advantage can be eliminated under equiluminant conditions. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Apr 4.
A key phenomenon supporting the existence of object-based attention is the object advantage, in which responses are faster for within-object, relative to equidistant between-object, shifts of attention. The origins of this effect have been variously ascribed to low-level "bottom-up" sensory processing and to a cognitive "top-down" strategy of within-object attention prioritization. The degree to which the object advantage depends on lower-level sensory processing was examined by differentially stimulating the magnocellular (M) and parvocellular (P) retino-geniculo-cortical visual pathways by using equiluminant and nonequiluminant conditions. We found that the object advantage can be eliminated when M activity is reduced using psychophysically equiluminant stimuli. This novel result in normal observers suggests that the origin of the object advantage is found in lower-level sensory processing rather than a general cognitive process, which should not be so sensitive to differential activation of the bottom-up P and M pathways. Eliminating the object advantage while maintaining a spatial-cueing advantage with reduced M activity suggests that the notion of independent M-driven spatial attention and P-driven object attention requires revision.
- The persistence of distraction: A study of attentional biases by fear, faces, and context. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Apr 3.
Efficient processing of the visual world requires that distracting items be avoided, or at least rapidly disengaged from. The mechanisms by which highly salient, yet irrelevant, stimuli lead to distraction, however, are not well understood. Here, we utilized a particularly strong type of distractor-images of human faces-to investigate the mechanisms of distraction and the involuntarily biasing of attention. Across three experiments using a novel discrimination task, we provided new evidence that the robust distraction triggered by faces may not reflect enhanced attraction but, instead, may reflect an extended holding of attention. Specifically, the onset of a task-irrelevant distractor initially impaired target performance regardless of the identity of that distractor (fearful faces, neutral faces, or places). In contrast, an extended period of distraction was observed only when the distractor was a face. Our results thus demonstrate two distinct mechanisms contributing to distraction: an initial involuntary capture to any sudden event and a subsequent holding of attention to a potentially meaningful, yet task-irrelevant stimulus-in this case, a human face. Critically, the latter holding of attention by faces was not unique to fearful faces but also occurred for neutral faces. The present results dissociate attentional capture from hold in another way as well, since the capture occurred regardless of the nature of the distractors, but the extended holding of attention was dependent upon the ongoing distractor context.
- Coarse-to-fine eye movement behavior during visual search. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Apr 3.
It has previously been argued that, during visual search, eye movement behavior is indicative of an underlying scanning "strategy" that starts on a global, or "coarse," scale but then progressively focuses to a more local, or "fine," scale. This conclusion is motivated by the finding that, as a trial progresses, fixation durations tend to increase and saccade amplitudes tend to decrease. In the present study, we replicate these effects but offer an alternative explanation for them-that they emerge from a few stochastic factors that control eye movement behavior. We report the results of a simulation supporting this hypothesis and discuss implications for future models of visual search.
- Less means more for pigeons but not always. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Apr 1.
When humans are asked to judge the value of a set of objects of excellent quality, they often give this set higher value than those same objects with the addition of some of lesser quality. This is an example of the affect heuristic, often referred to as the less-is-more effect. Monkeys and dogs, too, have shown this suboptimal effect. But in the present experiments, normally hungry pigeons chose optimally: a preferred food plus a less--preferred food over a more-preferred food alone. In Experiment 2, however, pigeons on a less-restricted diet showed the suboptimal less-is-more effect. Choice on control trials indicated that the effect did not result from the novelty of two food items versus one. The effect in the less-food-restricted pigeons appears to result from the devaluation of the combination of the food items by the presence of the less-preferred food item. The reversal of the effect under greater food restriction may occur because, as motivation increases, the value of the less-preferred food increases faster than the value of the more-preferred food, thus decreasing the difference in value between the two foods.