Cognitive Psychology

  • An associative account of the development of word learning
    Publication date: September 2017
    Source:Cognitive Psychology, Volume 97

    Author(s): Vladimir M. Sloutsky, Hyungwook Yim, Xin Yao, Simon Dennis

    Word learning is a notoriously difficult induction problem because meaning is underdetermined by positive examples. How do children solve this problem? Some have argued that word learning is achieved by means of inference: young word learners rely on a number of assumptions that reduce the overall hypothesis space by favoring some meanings over others. However, these approaches have difficulty explaining how words are learned from conversations or text, without pointing or explicit instruction. In this research, we propose an associative mechanism that can account for such learning. In a series of experiments, 4-year-olds and adults were presented with sets of words that included a single nonsense word (e.g. dax). Some lists were taxonomic (i.,e., all items were members of a given category), some were associative (i.e., all items were associates of a given category, but not members), and some were mixed. Participants were asked to indicate whether the nonsense word was an animal or an artifact. Adults exhibited evidence of learning when lists consisted of either associatively or taxonomically related items. In contrast, children exhibited evidence of word learning only when lists consisted of associatively related items. These results present challenges to several extant models of word learning, and a new model based on the distinction between syntagmatic and paradigmatic associations is proposed.





  • Parallel interactive retrieval of item and associative information from event memory
    Publication date: September 2017
    Source:Cognitive Psychology, Volume 97

    Author(s): Gregory E. Cox, Amy H. Criss

    Memory contains information about individual events (items) and combinations of events (associations). Despite the fundamental importance of this distinction, it remains unclear exactly how these two kinds of information are stored and whether different processes are used to retrieve them. We use both model-independent qualitative properties of response dynamics and quantitative modeling of individuals to address these issues. Item and associative information are not independent and they are retrieved concurrently via interacting processes. During retrieval, matching item and associative information mutually facilitate one another to yield an amplified holistic signal. Modeling of individuals suggests that this kind of facilitation between item and associative retrieval is a ubiquitous feature of human memory.





  • Where do hypotheses come from?
    Publication date: August 2017
    Source:Cognitive Psychology, Volume 96

    Author(s): Ishita Dasgupta, Eric Schulz, Samuel J. Gershman

    Why are human inferences sometimes remarkably close to the Bayesian ideal and other times systematically biased? In particular, why do humans make near-rational inferences in some natural domains where the candidate hypotheses are explicitly available, whereas tasks in similar domains requiring the self-generation of hypotheses produce systematic deviations from rational inference. We propose that these deviations arise from algorithmic processes approximating Bayes’ rule. Specifically in our account, hypotheses are generated stochastically from a sampling process, such that the sampled hypotheses form a Monte Carlo approximation of the posterior. While this approximation will converge to the true posterior in the limit of infinite samples, we take a small number of samples as we expect that the number of samples humans take is limited. We show that this model recreates several well-documented experimental findings such as anchoring and adjustment, subadditivity, superadditivity, the crowd within as well as the self-generation effect, the weak evidence, and the dud alternative effects. We confirm the model’s prediction that superadditivity and subadditivity can be induced within the same paradigm by manipulating the unpacking and typicality of hypotheses. We also partially confirm our model’s prediction about the effect of time pressure and cognitive load on these effects.





  • From information processing to decisions: Formalizing and comparing psychologically plausible choice models
    Publication date: August 2017
    Source:Cognitive Psychology, Volume 96

    Author(s): Daniel W. Heck, Benjamin E. Hilbig, Morten Moshagen

    Decision strategies explain how people integrate multiple sources of information to make probabilistic inferences. In the past decade, increasingly sophisticated methods have been developed to determine which strategy explains decision behavior best. We extend these efforts to test psychologically more plausible models (i.e., strategies), including a new, probabilistic version of the take-the-best (TTB) heuristic that implements a rank order of error probabilities based on sequential processing. Within a coherent statistical framework, deterministic and probabilistic versions of TTB and other strategies can directly be compared using model selection by minimum description length or the Bayes factor. In an experiment with inferences from given information, only three of 104 participants were best described by the psychologically plausible, probabilistic version of TTB. Similar as in previous studies, most participants were classified as users of weighted-additive, a strategy that integrates all available information and approximates rational decisions.





  • Evolution of word meanings through metaphorical mapping: Systematicity over the past millennium
    Publication date: August 2017
    Source:Cognitive Psychology, Volume 96

    Author(s): Yang Xu, Barbara C. Malt, Mahesh Srinivasan

    One way that languages are able to communicate a potentially infinite set of ideas through a finite lexicon is by compressing emerging meanings into words, such that over time, individual words come to express multiple, related senses of meaning. We propose that overarching communicative and cognitive pressures have created systematic directionality in how new metaphorical senses have developed from existing word senses over the history of English. Given a large set of pairs of semantic domains, we used computational models to test which domains have been more commonly the starting points (source domains) and which the ending points (target domains) of metaphorical mappings over the past millennium. We found that a compact set of variables, including externality, embodiment, and valence, explain directionality in the majority of about 5000 metaphorical mappings recorded over the past 1100years. These results provide the first large-scale historical evidence that metaphorical mapping is systematic, and driven by measurable communicative and cognitive principles.





  • Diagnostic causal reasoning with verbal information
    Publication date: August 2017
    Source:Cognitive Psychology, Volume 96

    Author(s): Björn Meder, Ralf Mayrhofer

    In diagnostic causal reasoning, the goal is to infer the probability of causes from one or multiple observed effects. Typically, studies investigating such tasks provide subjects with precise quantitative information regarding the strength of the relations between causes and effects or sample data from which the relevant quantities can be learned. By contrast, we sought to examine people’s inferences when causal information is communicated through qualitative, rather vague verbal expressions (e.g., “X occasionally causes A”). We conducted three experiments using a sequential diagnostic inference task, where multiple pieces of evidence were obtained one after the other. Quantitative predictions of different probabilistic models were derived using the numerical equivalents of the verbal terms, taken from an unrelated study with different subjects. We present a novel Bayesian model that allows for incorporating the temporal weighting of information in sequential diagnostic reasoning, which can be used to model both primacy and recency effects. On the basis of 19,848 judgments from 292 subjects, we found a remarkably close correspondence between the diagnostic inferences made by subjects who received only verbal information and those of a matched control group to whom information was presented numerically. Whether information was conveyed through verbal terms or numerical estimates, diagnostic judgments closely resembled the posterior probabilities entailed by the causes’ prior probabilities and the effects’ likelihoods. We observed interindividual differences regarding the temporal weighting of evidence in sequential diagnostic reasoning. Our work provides pathways for investigating judgment and decision making with verbal information within a computational modeling framework.





  • Editorial Board
    Publication date: June 2017
    Source:Cognitive Psychology, Volume 95









  • Breaking the rules in perceptual information integration
    Publication date: June 2017
    Source:Cognitive Psychology, Volume 95

    Author(s): Maxim A. Bushmakin, Ami Eidels, Andrew Heathcote

    We develop a broad theoretical framework for modelling difficult perceptual information integration tasks under different decision rules. The framework allows us to compare coactive architectures, which combine information before it enters the decision process, with parallel architectures, where logical rules combine independent decisions made about each perceptual source. For both architectures we test the novel hypothesis that participants break the decision rules on some trials, making a response based on only one stimulus even though task instructions require them to consider both. Our models take account of not only the decisions made but also the distribution of the time that it takes to make them, providing an account of speed-accuracy tradeoffs and response biases occurring when one response is required more often than another. We also test a second novel hypothesis, that the nature of the decision rule changes the evidence on which choices are based. We apply the models to data from a perceptual integration task with near threshold stimuli under two different decision rules. The coactive architecture was clearly rejected in favor of logical-rules. The logical-rule models were shown to provide an accurate account of all aspects of the data, but only when they allow for response bias and the possibility for subjects to break those rules. We discuss how our framework can be applied more broadly, and its relationship to Townsend and Nozawa’s (1995) Systems-Factorial Technology.





http://rss.sciencedirect.com/publication/science/00100285

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Email
Facebook
Facebook
YouTube
YouTube
Pin It