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Psychological Research

Ulrich Ludewig, Katharina Lambert, Tanja Dackermann, Katharina Scheiter, Korbinian Möller
Understanding graphically presented information is an important aspect of modern mathematical and science literacy. In our study, we investigated the influence of basic numerical abilities on students' ability answer mathematical tasks with information presented in graphs. We analyzed data of 750 German students (grades 9-11) and evaluated the determinants of graph reading performance with multiple regression analysis using predictors of basic numerical abilities (such as number line estimation, basic arithmetic operations, etc...
February 19, 2019: Psychological Research
Miriam Löhr-Limpens, Frederic Göhringer, Thomas Schenk, Constanze Hesse
In their Perception-Action Model (PAM), Goodale and Milner (1992) proposed functionally independent and encapsulated processing of visual information for action and perception. In this context, they postulated that visual input for action is processed in an automatized and analytic manner, which renders visuomotor behaviour immune to perceptual interferences or multitasking costs due to sharing of cognitive resources. Here, we investigate the well-known Garner Interference effect under dual- and single-task conditions in its classic perceptual form as well as in grasping...
February 16, 2019: Psychological Research
Markus Paulus
Infants and toddlers engage in instrumental helping, that is, help others in achieving an action-based goal. The underlying psychological mechanisms are unclear and hotly debated. The present study examined whether young children's helping is affected by others' need. To this end, 1.5- and 3.5-year-old children (n = 101) were simultaneously confronted with a needy and a non-needy other in a variety of helping tasks. The results show that the 3.5-year-old, but not the 1.5-year-old children preferentially helped the needy person...
February 13, 2019: Psychological Research
Carola Salvi, Edward Bowden
People can solve problems in two main styles: through a methodical analysis, or by a sudden insight (also known as 'Aha!' or 'Eureka!' experience). Analytical solutions are achieved primarily with conscious deliberation in a trial-and-error fashion. 'Aha!' moments, instead, happen suddenly, often without conscious deliberation and are considered a critical facet of creative cognition. Previous research has indicated an association between creativity and risk taking (a personality trait); however, few studies have investigated how a short-term situational state of risk modulates these two different problem-solving styles...
February 12, 2019: Psychological Research
Miriam Gade, Marco Steinhauser
Cues help in retrieving and implementing task-sets, that are actual representations of the to-be performed task in working memory. However, whereas previous studies revealed that the effectiveness of selecting and implementing task-sets based on cues depends on the type of cue (i.e., transparent words vs. arbitrary shapes), it is still unclear which characteristics of cues are responsible for these differences and whether the impact of the cue is bound to task-set retrieval only or also impacts task-set representations...
February 6, 2019: Psychological Research
Reinaldo Augusto Gomes Simões, Marcelo Frota Lobato Benvenuti, Aline de Souza Rodrigues, Stela Pereira Coutinho, Miguel Ángel Muñoz, Lisiane Bizarro
Individuals interpret themselves as causal agents when executing an action to achieve an outcome, even when action and outcome are independent. How can illusion of control be managed? Once established, does it decay? This study aimed to analyze the effects of valence, probability of the outcome [p(O)] and probability of the actions performed by the participant [p(A)], on the magnitude of judgments of control and corresponding associative measures (including Rescorla-Wagner's, Probabilistic Contrast, and Cheng's Power Probabilistic Contrast models)...
February 4, 2019: Psychological Research
Kerstin Jost, Mike Wendt, Aquiles Luna-Rodriguez, Andreas Löw, Thomas Jacobsen
Electrophysiological recording in a temporal flanker task (i.e., distractors preceding the targets) has demonstrated that distractor processing is adjusted to the overall utility of the distractors. Under high utility, that is, distractors are predictive of the target/response, distractors immediately activate the corresponding response (as indicated by the lateralized readiness potential, LRP). This activation has been shown to be markedly postponed when the target predictably occurs delayed. To investigate the occurrence and time course of distractor-related response activation under conditions of unpredictable target onset, we randomly varied the stimulus-onset asynchrony (SOA) between distractors and targets and recorded the distractor-evoked LRP...
February 2, 2019: Psychological Research
Magda Jordão, Maria Salomé Pinho, Peggy L St Jacques
In the past 15 years, the study of spontaneous thoughts (i.e., thoughts coming to mind without intention and effort) has received increased attention. Spontaneous future thoughts (SFTs) are particularly important (e.g., in planning), yet difficult to study with regard to age differences. Two main problems arise: (1) lab tasks including word-cues induce more past than future thoughts; (2) younger adults report more spontaneous thoughts than older adults. To improve the elicitation of SFTs, we developed a future-oriented goal-related priming procedure and analyzed the extension of the goal-related priming effect in SFTs to older adults, to examine whether age-related changes in personal goals compromise the elicitation of SFTs...
January 23, 2019: Psychological Research
Olivia C Patsalos, Volker Thoma
Previous research has shown that dehydration and water supplementation affect mood and cognitive performance in both adults and children on a variety of tasks that assess memory, attention, executive function, and speeded responses. Given the varied effects of water on cognition, this study explored potential effects of water supplementation, hydration status, and thirst on thinking and decision-making tasks. 29 adult participants undertook a battery of cognitive tests on two separate occasions after having fasted from the previous night...
January 21, 2019: Psychological Research
Katerina Georgiadou, Agatha Chronos, Bruno Verschuere, Melanie Sauerland
The reaction time-based Concealed Information Test (RT-CIT) has high validity in assessing recognition of critical information. Findings on its usefulness for diagnosing face recognition in eyewitnesses are inconsistent. Experiment 1 (N = 82) tested whether closely matching the faces of the probes and irrelevants, as required for a fair lineup, undermines RT-CIT usefulness. Preregistered Experiments 2a and 2b (Ns = 48), tested the role of eyewitness cooperativeness for RT-CIT validity. All participants watched a mock crime video and then completed an RT-CIT...
January 11, 2019: Psychological Research
Jon-Frederick Landrigan, Tyler Bell, Michael Crowe, Olivio J Clay, Daniel Mirman
The health benefits of resistance exercises are well established; however, the effects of resistance training on cognition are not as well understood. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the evidence of resistance exercise's effects on cognition. A systematic search identified 24 studies that were included in the analyses. These articles ranged in the protocols utilized and in how they studied the effects of resistance training on cognition. Four primary analyses were carried out to assess the effects of resistance exercise on cognitive outcomes: (1) composite cognitive scores, (2) screening measures of cognitive impairment, (3) measures of executive functions, and (4) measures of working memory...
January 9, 2019: Psychological Research
Gerben Groenveld, John Ashley Burgoyne, Makiko Sadakata
The Speech-to-Song Illusion (STS) refers to a dramatic shift in our perception of short speech fragments which, when repeatedly presented, may start to sound-like song. Anecdotally, once it is perceived as a song, it is difficult to unhear the melody of a speech fragment, and such temporal dynamics of the STS illusion has theoretical implications. The goal of the current study is to capture this temporal effect. In our experiment, speech fragments that initially did not elicit the STS illusion were manipulated to have increasingly stable F0 contours to strengthen the perceived 'song-likeness' of a fragment...
January 9, 2019: Psychological Research
David A Rosenbaum, Kyle S Sauerberger
Research on motor planning has revealed two seemingly contradictory phenomena. One is the end-state comfort effect, the tendency to grasp objects in physically awkward ways for the sake of comfortable or easy-to-control final postures (Rosenbaum et al., Attention and Performance XIII: Motor representation and control, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, New Jersey, 1990). The other is pre-crastination, the tendency to hasten the completion of tasks even at the expense of extra physical effort (Rosenbaum et al...
January 8, 2019: Psychological Research
Michael B Steinborn, Lynn Huestegge
We examined aspects of social alerting as induced through the presence of an attentive but non-evaluative confederate on mental efficiency. To this end, individuals were administered with a chained mental-arithmetic task (levels: low vs. high demand) in two contextual conditions (levels: alone vs. presence). In addition, we examined self-report measures of subjective state for purposes of control. As a result, the presence (vs. alone) condition improved (not hampered) processing speed (while error rate remained low overall), and this effect was differentially more pronounced for high (vs...
January 8, 2019: Psychological Research
David Dignath, Oliver Herbort, Aleksandra Pieczykolan, Lynn Huestegge, Andrea Kiesel
The present study tested whether the coupling of covert attentional shifts and motor planning of pointing movements can be modulated by learning. Participants performed two tasks. As a primary movement task, they executed a pointing movement to a movement target (MT) location. As a secondary visual attention task, they identified a discrimination target (DT) that was presented shortly before initiation of the pointing movement. These DTs either occurred at the same or at different locations with the MT. A common finding in such and similar settings is the enhanced visual target identification when locations of MT and DT coincide...
January 7, 2019: Psychological Research
Mario Dalmaso, Luigi Castelli, Giovanni Galfano
Prolonged fixation can lead to the generation of tiny and fast eye movements called microsaccades, whose dynamics can be associated with higher cognitive mechanisms. Saccade preparation is also reflected in microsaccadic activity, but the few studies on this topic provided mixed results. For instance, fewer microsaccades have been observed when participants were asked to prepare for an anti-saccade (i.e., a saccade in the opposite direction to the target) as compared to a pro-saccade (i.e., a saccade executed towards a target), but null results have also been reported...
January 2, 2019: Psychological Research
Rebecca Watson, Beatrice de Gelder
Emotions are expressed by the face, the voice and the whole body. Research on the face and the voice has not only demonstrated that emotions are perceived categorically, but that this perception can be manipulated. The purpose of this study was to investigate, via two separate experiments using adaptation and multisensory techniques, whether the perception of body emotion expressions also shows categorical effects and plasticity. We used an approach developed for studies investigating both face and voice emotion perception and created novel morphed affective body stimuli, which varied in small incremental steps between emotions...
January 2, 2019: Psychological Research
Effie J Pereira, Elina Birmingham, Jelena Ristic
It is commonly accepted that attention is spontaneously biased towards faces and eyes. However, the role of stimulus features and task settings in this finding has not yet been systematically investigated. Here, we tested if faces and facial features bias attention spontaneously when stimulus factors, task properties, response conditions, and eye movements are controlled. In three experiments, participants viewed face, house, and control scrambled face-house images in an upright and inverted orientation. The task was to discriminate a target that appeared with equal probability at the previous location of the face, house, or the control image...
January 2, 2019: Psychological Research
Ondřej Havlíček, Hermann J Müller, Agnieszka Wykowska
Distracting sensory events can capture attention, interfering with the performance of the task at hand. We asked: is our attention captured by such events if we cause them ourselves? To examine this, we employed a visual search task with an additional salient singleton distractor, where the distractor was predictable either by the participant's own (motor) action or by an endogenous cue; accordingly, the task was designed to isolate the influence of motor and non-motor predictive processes. We found both types of prediction, cue- and action-based, to attenuate the interference of the distractor-which is at odds with the "attentional white bear" hypothesis, which states that prediction of distracting stimuli mandatorily directs attention towards them...
December 26, 2018: Psychological Research
Katharina M Schnitzspahn, Lia Kvavilashvili, Mareike Altgassen
Prospective memory (PM) involves remembering intended actions in the future, such as posting a letter when seeing a post box (event-based PM) or making a phone call at 2:00 pm (time-based PM). Studies on aging and PM have often reported negative age effects in the laboratory, but positive age effects in naturalistic tasks outside the laboratory (the so-called age-PM-paradox). The present study re-examined this pattern of the paradox by studying, for the first time, age differences in time- and event-based PM in lab-based, experimenter-generated naturalistic and self-assigned real-life PM tasks within the same sample of young and older adults...
December 26, 2018: Psychological Research
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