Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition

  • How performance-contingent reward prospect modulates cognitive control: Increased cue maintenance at the cost of decreased flexibility. 20170313
    Growing evidence suggests that reward prospect promotes cognitive stability in terms of increased context or cue maintenance. In 3 Experiments, using different versions of the AX-continuous performance task, we investigated whether this reward effect comes at the cost of decreased cognitive flexibility. Experiment 1 shows that the reward induced increase of cue maintenance perseverates even when reward is no longer available. Experiment 2 shows that this reward effect not only survives the withdrawal of reward but also delays the adaptation to changed task conditions that make cue usage maladaptive. And finally in Experiment 3, it is shown that this reduced flexibility to adapt is observed in a more demanding modified version of the AX-continuous performance task and is even stronger under conditions of sustained reward. Taken together, all 3 Experiments thus speak to the idea that the prospect of reward increases cue maintenance and thereby cognitive stability. This increased cognitive stability however comes at the cost of decreased flexibility in terms of delayed adaptation to new reward and task conditions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Strategic origins of early semantic facilitation in the blocked-cyclic naming paradigm. 20170406
    In the blocked-cyclic naming paradigm, participants repeatedly name small sets of objects that do or do not belong to the same semantic category. A standard finding is that, after a first presentation cycle where one might find semantic facilitation, naming is slower in related (homogeneous) than in unrelated (heterogeneous) sets. According to competitive theories of lexical selection, this is because the lexical representations of the object names compete more vigorously in homogeneous than in heterogeneous sets. However, Navarrete, del Prato, Peressotti, and Mahon (2014) argued that this pattern of results was not due to increased lexical competition but to weaker repetition priming in homogeneous compared to heterogeneous sets. They demonstrated that when homogeneous sets were not repeated immediately but interleaved with unrelated sets, semantic relatedness induced facilitation rather than interference. We replicate this finding but also show that the facilitation effect has a strategic origin: It is substantial when sets are separated by pauses, making it easy for participants to notice the relatedness within some sets and use it to predict upcoming items. However, the effect is much reduced when these pauses are eliminated. In our view, the semantic facilitation effect does not constitute evidence against competitive theories of lexical selection. It can be accounted for within any framework that acknowledges strategic influences on the speed of object naming in the blocked-cyclic naming paradigm. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Disentangling the effects of advisor consensus and advice proximity. 20170313
    When advice comes from interdependent sources (e.g., from advisors who use the same database), less information should be gained as compared to independent advice. On the other hand, since individuals strive for consistency, they should be more confident in consistent compared to conflicting advice, and interdependent advice should be more consistent than independent advice. In a study investigating the differential effects of interdependent versus independent advice on a judge’s accuracy and confidence (Yaniv, Choshen-Hillel, & Milyavsky, 2009), advice interdependence was confounded with another variable, namely closeness of the advice to the judge’s estimate. Interdependent advice was not only more consistent than independent advice but also closer to the judge’s first estimate. The present study aimed at disentangling the effects of consensus and closeness of the advice by adding a third experimental condition in which interdependent (and, hence, consistent) advice was far from the judge’s own estimate. We found that, as suggested by Yaniv et al., accuracy gains were indeed a consequence of advisor interdependence. However, in contrast to Yaniv et al.’s conclusions, confidence in the correctness of one’s estimates was mostly a function of the advice’s proximity to the participants’ initial estimations, thereby indicating a social validation effect. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

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