Cognitive Psychology

  • Editorial Board
    Publication date: November 2017
    Source:Cognitive Psychology, Volume 98









  • Putting old tools to novel uses: The role of form accessibility in semantic extension
    Publication date: November 2017
    Source:Cognitive Psychology, Volume 98

    Author(s): Zara Harmon, Vsevolod Kapatsinski

    An increase in frequency of a form has been argued to result in semantic extension (Bybee, 2003; Zipf, 1949). Yet, research on the acquisition of lexical semantics suggests that a form that frequently co-occurs with a meaning gets restricted to that meaning (Xu & Tenenbaum, 2007). The current work reconciles these positions by showing that – through its effect on form accessibility – frequency causes semantic extension in production, while at the same time causing entrenchment in comprehension. Repeatedly experiencing a form paired with a specific meaning makes one more likely to re-use the form to express related meanings, while also increasing one’s confidence that the form is never used to express those meanings. Recurrent pathways of semantic change are argued to result from a tug of war between the production-side pressure to reuse easily accessible forms and the comprehension-side confidence that one has seen all possible uses of a frequent form.





  • Multi-attribute, multi-alternative models of choice: Choice, reaction time, and process tracing
    Publication date: November 2017
    Source:Cognitive Psychology, Volume 98

    Author(s): Andrew L. Cohen, Namyi Kang, Tanya L. Leise

    The first aim of this research is to compare computational models of multi-alternative, multi-attribute choice when attribute values are explicit. The choice predictions of utility (standard random utility & weighted valuation), heuristic (elimination-by-aspects, lexicographic, & maximum attribute value), and dynamic (multi-alternative decision field theory, MDFT, & a version of the multi-attribute linear ballistic accumulator, MLBA) models are contrasted on both preferential and risky choice data. Using both maximum likelihood and cross-validation fit measures on choice data, the utility and dynamic models are preferred over the heuristic models for risky choice, with a slight overall advantage for the MLBA for preferential choice. The response time predictions of these models (except the MDFT) are then tested. Although the MLBA accurately predicts response time distributions, it only weakly accounts for stimulus-level differences. The other models completely fail to account for stimulus-level differences. Process tracing measures, i.e., eye and mouse tracking, were also collected. None of the qualitative predictions of the models are completely supported by that data. These results suggest that the models may not appropriately represent the interaction of attention and preference formation. To overcome this potential shortcoming, the second aim of this research is to test preference-formation assumptions, independently of attention, by developing the models of attentional sampling (MAS) model family which incorporates the empirical gaze patterns into a sequential sampling framework. An MAS variant that includes attribute values, but only updates the currently viewed alternative and does not contrast values across alternatives, performs well in both experiments. Overall, the results support the dynamic models, but point to the need to incorporate a framework that more accurately reflects the relationship between attention and the preference-formation process.





  • Diversity not quantity in caregiver speech: Using computational modeling to isolate the effects of the quantity and the diversity of the input on vocabulary growth
    Publication date: November 2017
    Source:Cognitive Psychology, Volume 98

    Author(s): Gary Jones, Caroline F. Rowland

    Children who hear large amounts of diverse speech learn language more quickly than children who do not. However, high correlations between the amount and the diversity of the input in speech samples makes it difficult to isolate the influence of each. We overcame this problem by controlling the input to a computational model so that amount of exposure to linguistic input (quantity) and the quality of that input (lexical diversity) were independently manipulated. Sublexical, lexical, and multi-word knowledge were charted across development (Study 1), showing that while input quantity may be important early in learning, lexical diversity is ultimately more crucial, a prediction confirmed against children’s data (Study 2). The model trained on a lexically diverse input also performed better on nonword repetition and sentence recall tests (Study 3) and was quicker to learn new words over time (Study 4). A language input that is rich in lexical diversity outperforms equivalent richness in quantity for learned sublexical and lexical knowledge, for well-established language tests, and for acquiring words that have never been encountered before.





  • Accent modulates access to word meaning: Evidence for a speaker-model account of spoken word recognition
    Publication date: November 2017
    Source:Cognitive Psychology, Volume 98

    Author(s): Zhenguang G. Cai, Rebecca A. Gilbert, Matthew H. Davis, M. Gareth Gaskell, Lauren Farrar, Sarah Adler, Jennifer M. Rodd

    Speech carries accent information relevant to determining the speaker’s linguistic and social background. A series of web-based experiments demonstrate that accent cues can modulate access to word meaning. In Experiments 1–3, British participants were more likely to retrieve the American dominant meaning (e.g., hat meaning of “bonnet”) in a word association task if they heard the words in an American than a British accent. In addition, results from a speeded semantic decision task (Experiment 4) and sentence comprehension task (Experiment 5) confirm that accent modulates on-line meaning retrieval such that comprehension of ambiguous words is easier when the relevant word meaning is dominant in the speaker’s dialect. Critically, neutral-accent speech items, created by morphing British- and American-accented recordings, were interpreted in a similar way to accented words when embedded in a context of accented words (Experiment 2). This finding indicates that listeners do not use accent to guide meaning retrieval on a word-by-word basis; instead they use accent information to determine the dialectic identity of a speaker and then use their experience of that dialect to guide meaning access for all words spoken by that person. These results motivate a speaker-model account of spoken word recognition in which comprehenders determine key characteristics of their interlocutor and use this knowledge to guide word meaning access.





  • Editorial Board
    Publication date: September 2017
    Source:Cognitive Psychology, Volume 97









  • 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.





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

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