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Journal of Experimental Psychology. General

Lewis Forder, Gary Lupyan
As part of learning some languages, people learn to name colors using categorical labels such as "red," "yellow," and "green." Such labeling clearly facilitates communicating about colors, but does it also impact color perception? We demonstrate that simply hearing color words enhances categorical color perception, improving people's accuracy in discriminating between simultaneously presented colors in an untimed task. Immediately after hearing a color word participants were better able to distinguish between colors from the named category and colors from nearby categories...
March 14, 2019: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Hilla Jakoby, Ofri Raviv, Sagi Jaffe-Dax, Itay Lieder, Merav Ahissar
Brain-training, aimed at advancing and improving cognitive and perceptual abilities, is vastly studied because of its immense promise. Yet, there are major controversies regarding its main claim that intensive weeks' training on a single challenging task could improve performance in related untrained tasks. Ample training studies showing transfer were criticized for flawed design. We now explored the impact of perceptual training (auditory frequency discrimination), applying a carefully controlled intensive training experiment...
March 7, 2019: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Oriane Georgeac, Aneeta Rattan
Conventional wisdom suggests that progress for women in the domain of top leadership representation will naturally spread to other domains of gender inequality, whether in organizations or beyond. Extending social-cognitive theories of exemplar-based information processing to the study of social progress perceptions for stigmatized groups, we theorized that perceiving substantial female representation in top leadership may instead reduce people's concern with ongoing gender inequality in other domains. Study 1 (N = 331) finds that perceiving greater female representation in top corporate echelons decreases people's disturbance with the gender pay gap, but not with wealth inequality generally...
March 4, 2019: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Kim Uittenhove, Lina Chaabi, Valérie Camos, Pierre Barrouillet
It has recently been claimed that working memory (WM) storage is intrinsically domain-specific because the concurrent maintenance of an auditory and a visuospatial memory set did not involve any dual-task cost (Fougnie, Zughni, Godwin, & Marois, 2015). Using the same paradigm, we asked participants to concurrently maintain verbal auditory memory sets of 2, 4, or 6 letters along with visuospatial memory sets of 1, 3, or 5 dots in spatial locations. Whereas using the probe-recognition procedure used by Fougnie, Zughni, Godwin, and Marois (2015) replicated the absence of dual-task cost, a recall procedure revealed systematic interference between auditory-verbal and visuospatial WM...
March 4, 2019: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Alison Wood Brooks, Karen Huang, Nicole Abi-Esber, Ryan W Buell, Laura Huang, Brian Hall
People often feel malicious envy, a destructive interpersonal emotion, when they compare themselves to successful peers. Across 3 online experiments and a field experiment of entrepreneurs, we identify an interpersonal strategy that can mitigate feelings of malicious envy in observers: revealing one's failures. Despite a general reluctance to reveal one's failures-as they are happening and after they have occurred-across four experiments, we find that revealing both successes and failures encountered on the path to success (compared to revealing only successes) decreases observers' malicious envy...
March 4, 2019: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Larisa Heiphetz
Children and adults view many characteristics in an essentialist way-as innate, immutable, and biological. Prior work has typically investigated essentialism regarding broad domains (e.g., gender rather than maleness/femaleness). Using the example of morality, the current work asked whether individuals view different components of 1 domain (goodness/badness) differently and whether such views might influence behavior. Five- to 8-year-olds reported more essentialism than adults; however, both children and adults viewed goodness in more essentialist terms than badness...
March 4, 2019: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Preston P Thakral, Kevin P Madore, Aleea L Devitt, Daniel L Schacter
Numerous studies indicate that an episodic specificity induction (ESI)-brief training in recollecting the details of a past experience-enhances performance on subsequent tasks that rely on episodic retrieval, including autobiographical memory, imagination, problem solving, and creative thinking. In 5 experiments, we examined whether these benefits of the ESI extend to reducing susceptibility to false memory, or whether they are accompanied by a cost in the form of increased susceptibility to false memory. To assess how ESI impacts false memory generation, we used the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm, a reliable procedure for generating false memories...
March 4, 2019: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Ian A Clark, Victoria Hotchin, Anna Monk, Gloria Pizzamiglio, Alice Liefgreen, Eleanor A Maguire
Autobiographical memory, future thinking, and spatial navigation are critical cognitive functions that are thought to be related and are known to depend upon a brain structure called the hippocampus. Surprisingly, direct evidence for their interrelatedness is lacking, as is an understanding of why they might be related. There is debate about whether they are linked by an underlying memory-related process or, as has more recently been suggested, because they each require the endogenous construction of scene imagery...
March 4, 2019: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Katja M Mayer, Hugh Riddell, Markus Lappe
The concurrent processing of optic flow and biological motion is crucial for navigating to a destination without colliding with others. Neuroimaging studies and formal models have provided evidence for distinct neural mechanisms involved in processing the 2 types of motion. It may, therefore, be possible to process both types of motions independently. To test for possible interferences at the behavioral level, we conducted a dual task paradigm in which we presented a point-light walker in a flow field that simulated forward motion...
March 4, 2019: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Warren Mansell, Autumn Curtis, Silje Zink
Perceptual control theory (PCT) approaches the behavior of living systems as though it were a phenomenon of control and systematically assesses the variables that the individual controls using the test for the controlled variable (TCV). PCT may be supported by the minority because the majority of behavior scientists, like most people, can miss the phenomenon of control as it is occurring. An earlier paper reported three studies of a behavior that was known to be a process of control because it had been explicitly instructed...
February 28, 2019: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Robert D McIntosh, Elizabeth A Fowler, Tianjiao Lyu, Sergio Della Sala
The Dunning-Kruger effect (DKE) is the finding that, across a wide range of tasks, poor performers greatly overestimate their ability, whereas top performers make more accurate self-assessments. The original account of the DKE involves the idea that metacognitive insight requires the same skills as task performance, so that unskilled people perform poorly and lack insight. However, global measures of self-assessment are prone to statistical and other biases that could explain the same pattern. We used psychophysical methods to examine metacognitive insight in simple movement and spatial memory tasks: pointing at a dot or recalling its position after a delay...
February 25, 2019: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Katharina T Berger, Mandy Hütter, Olivier Corneille
This research tested a central assumption of attitudinal ambivalence research: ambivalent attitude objects simultaneously trigger positive and negative evaluations. It further specifies at which stage this activation is likely to produce an evaluative conflict. Experiments 1 to 3 involved 2 evaluative priming paradigms, in which ambivalent stimuli served either as primes or as targets. The Ambivalent Primes Paradigm tested the degree to which the concurrent and unintentional activation of positivity and negativity influences responding to univalent targets...
February 25, 2019: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Lauren A Rutter, David Dodell-Feder, Ipsit V Vahia, Brent P Forester, Kerry J Ressler, Jeremy B Wilmer, Laura Germine
Face emotion perception is important for social functioning and mental health. In addition to recognizing categories of face emotion, accurate emotion perception relies on the ability to detect subtle differences in emotion intensity. The primary aim of this study was to examine participants' ability to discriminate the intensity of facial emotions (emotion sensitivity: ES) in three psychometrically matched ES tasks (fear, anger, or happiness), to identify developmental changes in sensitivity to face emotion intensity across the lifespan...
February 18, 2019: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Larisa J Hussak, Andrei Cimpian
Concepts of national groups (e.g., Americans, Canadians) are an important source of identity and meaning in people's lives. Here, we provide a developmental investigation of these concepts. Across 3 studies involving 5- to 8-year-olds and adults in the United States, we found that (a) compared with older children and adults, young children were more likely to think that national groups have a biological basis, but that (b) other aspects of national group concepts-such as the idea that national group membership is stable and informative about a person-changed less with development...
February 18, 2019: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Anoushiravan Zahedi, Rasha Abdel Rahman, Birgit Stürmer, Werner Sommer
In the Stroop task color words are shown in various print colors. When print colors are named or classified with button presses, interference occurs if word meaning is color-incongruent and facilitation if it is congruent. Although the Stroop effects in vocal and manual task versions are similar, it is unclear whether the underlying mechanisms are equivalent. We addressed this question by (a) recording event-related brain potentials (ERPs), (b) manipulating the lexicality of neutral stimuli, and (c) giving posthypnotic suggestions (PHS) that written words would lose their meaning...
February 7, 2019: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Corey Cusimano, Geoffrey P Goodwin
Prominent accounts of folk theory of mind posit that people judge others' mental states to be uncontrollable, unintentional, or otherwise involuntary. Yet, this claim has little empirical support: few studies have investigated lay judgments about mental state control, and those that have done so yield conflicting conclusions. We address this shortcoming across six studies, which show that, in fact, lay people attribute to others a high degree of intentional control over their mental states, including their emotions, desires, beliefs, and evaluative attitudes...
February 7, 2019: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Edwina Picon, Denitza Dramkin, Darko Odic
The human perceptual system is responsive to numerical information within visual and auditory scenes. For example, when shown 2 displays of dots, observers can instantly, albeit approximately, identify the set that is more numerous. Theories in perceptual and cognitive psychology have focused on 2 mechanisms for how vision accomplishes such a feat: Under the domain-specific encoding theory, number is represented as a primary visual feature of perception, much like motion or color, while under the domain-general theory, the visual system represents number indirectly, through a complex combination of features such as the size of the dots, their total cluster, and so forth...
February 7, 2019: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Ioannis Evangelidis, Stijn M J van Osselaer
In this article we advance a theory that describes how people evaluate attribute values. We propose that evaluations involve a target and a reference value. Evaluators first seek a reference value on the target attribute (e.g., an average value or another stimulus's value on that same attribute). However, in the absence of same-attribute information, evaluators may instead rely on the target stimulus's own value on another attribute and make an evaluation about the target in one of two ways. First, the individual may compare the target attribute value to the stimulus's value on a reference attribute...
February 4, 2019: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Kimberly M Livingstone, Derek M Isaacowitz
Theories of emotional aging have proposed that age differences in emotion regulation may partly explain why older adults report high levels of emotional well-being despite declines in other domains. The current research examined age differences and similarities in emotion regulatory tactic preferences across 5 laboratory tasks designed to measure the strategies within the process model of emotion regulation (situation selection, situation modification, attentional deployment, cognitive change, and response modulation)...
February 4, 2019: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Mariska E Kret, Carsten K W De Dreu
The eyes are extremely important in communication and can send a multitude of different messages. Someone's pupil size carries significant social information and can reflect different cognitive and affective states that within a social interaction can prove to be particularly meaningful. In 3 studies we investigated the impact of a person's pupil size on how others evaluate that person. In Experiment 1, participants played trust games in the role of investor. The results demonstrate that participants trusted happy compared with angry partners more, as well as those with dilating compared with constricting pupils, to whom they also assigned more positive personality traits including friendliness, attractiveness, and trustworthiness...
February 4, 2019: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
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