The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A (Q J Exp Psychol )

Publisher: Experimental Psychology Society


Section A of The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology publishes original articles on any topic within the field of human experimental psychology. The majority of papers published are substantial experimental reports, but brief reports which allow some definite and important conclusion to be reached are included, and review articles and theoretical treatments are welcome. A distinctive feature of the journal is its book reviews. As well as normal book reviews, from time to time particularly important books are accorded a fuller Critical Notice which may be as long as a normal article. The journal is read internationally, and its contributors are similarly international, with articles from the UK, continental Europe, North America and elsewhere in the world.

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    The Quarterly journal of experimental psychology. A, Human experimental psychology, Human experimental psychology, Quarterly journal of experimental psychology., QJEP(A)
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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The problem of deciding whether two things are the same or different in magnitude can be solved by judging one magnitude relative to the other, or by making absolute judgements about the magnitude of each. The shape of the resulting receiver operating characteristic depends on which solution is adopted. In order to obtain empirical receiver operating characteristics, we therefore had subjects rate their confidence that two tone amplitudes were the same or different. Four subjects each made 500 ratings of three differences in amplitude. The asymmetry in the obtained characteristics indicated that subjects made relative rather than absolute judgements of the amplitudes, despite the fact that making absolute judgements would lead to better performance on the task.
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 12/2012; 47:1035-1045.
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    ABSTRACT: In written Japanese, there are two types of scripts: logographic kanji and syllabic kana. Three experiments investigated effects of concurrent articulation on decisions about words that are normally written in kanji either presented in kanji or transcribed in kana. Concurrent articulation disrupted rhyme decisions and homophone decisions for the kanji condition more than for the kana-transcribed condition (Experiments 1 and 2) and did not disrupt lexical decisions in either the kanji condition or the kana-transcribed condition (Experiment 3). The results were interpreted as indicating that concurrent articulation does not disrupt the generation of assembled phonology in Japanese, consistent with findings using English materials.
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 02/2011; 1992(44A):455-474.
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    ABSTRACT: Irrelevant background speech disrupts serial recall of visually presented lists of verbal material. Three experiments tested the hypothesis that the degree of disruption is dependent on the number of words heard (i.e. word dose) whilst the task was undertaken. Experiments 1 and 2 showed that more disruption is produced if the word dose is increased, thereby providing evidence to support the experimental hypothesis. It was concluded from the first two experiments that the word-dose effect might be the result of increasing the amount of changing-state information in the speech. The results of Experiment 3 supported this conclusion by showing an interaction between word dose and changing-state information. It was noted however that the results might be explained within the working memory account of the disruptive action of irrelevant speech. A further two experiments cast doubt on this possibility by failing to replicate the finding that the phonological similarity between heard and seen material affects the degree of interference (Salamé & Baddeley, 1982). The findings are discussed in relation to the changing state hypothesis of the irrelevant speech effect (e.g. Jones, Madden, & Miles, 1992).
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 11/2010; November 1(1996):919-939.
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    ABSTRACT: Successful performance of a delayed intention relies, in part, on recognition that a cue provides a signal for the retrieval and realization of that intention. The relative ease with which cues are recognized should influence the likelihood of successfully acting upon a delayed intention (cf. Einstein & McDaniel, 1990). We report three studies in which we manipulated ease of recognition by providing, at encoding, either the particular cues (category exemplars) that subsequently appeared during the test phase or the name of the category from which these cues were drawn—specific or general encoding instructions, respectively. Recognition of cues at test, and thus delayed intention performance, should be enhanced by the provision of specific rather than general instructions at encoding—the “specificity effect” identified by Einstein, McDaniel, Richardson, Guynn, and Cunfer (1995). This contrast, however, is likely to be influenced by both category-exemplar and exemplar-exemplar relations. The experiments reported here explored the influence of these relations on delayed intention performance. The results indicate the importance of the semantic relations (a) among cues and (b) between cues and the category from which they are drawn in determining the superiority of specific over general cue instructions.
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 11/2010; November 1(1996):862-887.
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    ABSTRACT: Cheng and Holyoak's (1985) most persuasive evidence for pragmatic reasoning schema theory has been the finding that an abstract permission version of Wason's selection task yields higher rates of solution than a nonpragmatic control. Experiment 1 presented two problem sets, one modelled after Cheng and Holyoak's abstract permission problem, which is relativley rich in extraneous features, and one after Wason's, relatively impoverished, standard problem. Each problem set varied type of rule (permission, obligation, or nonpragmatic) and task type (to reason from or about a rule). Results revealed that enriched problems were solved more often than impoverished ones, that reasoning-from problems were solved more often than reasoning-about problems, and that there was a beneficial interaction between enriching features and the permission rule. Experiment 2 demonstrated that although explicit negatives were crucial for solution of reasoning-from permission problems, they played no role in solution of enriched nonpragmatic-rule problems. Experiment 3 provided a replication of the enriched reasoning-from permission problem, again revealed no beneficial effect for obligation-rule problems, and further revealed no influence of instructions to provide brief written justifications. We argue that the results show that the scope of pragmatic reasoning schema theory needs to be narrowed, that although a permission rule does have an effect, an obligation rule does not, and that some beneficial task features are independent of anything explained by pragmatic reasoning schema theory.
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 10/2010; May 1(1996):463-489.
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    ABSTRACT: A new paradigm, the “teaching-by-examples” paradigm, was used to shed new light on the process of category acquisition. In four experiments (n = 90, 90, 115, 117), manipulating the variables of category structure, status of non-target category, learning mode, and teaching mode, participants first learned a category and then taught it to someone else. High agreement between participants on the teaching sequences was found across conditions, and a typical sequence was identified for each category structure. The typical participant-produced sequences startedwith several ideal positive cases, followed by anideal negative case and then borderline cases. The efficiency of such sequences for teaching was tested in another experiment (n = 60), in which they were compared with sequences emphasizing category borders and sequences emphasizing each dimension separately. The typical participant-produced sequences induced the most efficient learning. It is proposed that the pattern of performance may provide a rich source of data for testing and fine-tuning models of category acquisition.
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 10/2010; August 1(1997):586-606.
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    ABSTRACT: Three experiments examined repetition priming of the recognition of printed proper names of familiar people by the prior exposure of those names in their correct form or with their letters re-arranged as anagrams. Experiment 1 found that, compared with response times to previously unseen names, name familiarity decisions were made more rapidly if the subject had seen and identified the famous name in the pre-training stage, irrespective of whether they saw the intact name or an anagram. Priming was not demonstrated if the name was not recognized in the pre-training stage. The results of Experiment 2 suggested that if anagrams were not solved spontaneously in the pre-training stage, being prompted to their identity by the experimenter would not yield reliable priming at test, a result that reflected previous work using face stimuli (Brunas-Wagstaff, Young, & Ellis, 1992; Johnston, Barry, & Williams, 1996). In Experiment 3, prompts were given for all names and anagrams presented at pretraining. Subsequent priming was demonstrated only for names identified spontaneously, which showed that, as with face recognition, it was the situation in which the prime was given that was critical in determining whether priming of name recognition occurred. The findings are used to develop proposed extensions of the Bruce and Young (1986) model such as that offered by Burton, Bruce, and Johnston (1990).
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 10/2010; February 1(1999):47-65.
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    ABSTRACT: In experimental psychology, the degree of difference between the proportions of correctly solved items on two related tests (such as word lists) has been calculated by different methods, for example, a simple difference (e.g. as used in within-subjects ANOVAs), difference relative to potential gain, quotient, difference between standardized z-scores, or by Signal Detection Theory's d', every one of which may yield different results. The present article discusses the choice of methods with an example from reading research concerned with contextual facilitation in readers with different abilities. Assuming that the total number of correctly solved items captures all relevant variance in subjects' abilities (i.e. it is a sufficient measure), it is demonstrated that the logarithm of the quotient between odds for the frequencies of correct responses (log odds) is the most suitable method of calculation. For example, calculations based on log odds provide an appropriate ranking of the subjects, from relevant for repeated-measures ANOVAs. The aims of the present paper are to draw attention to the problem of comparing differences, to evaluate current methods of calculation, and to present a consistent solution to the problem. We illustrate the problem by applying several current methods of expressing differences in proportion correct to the same set of data: they yield radically different results. The choice of an appropriate method depends on the assumptions made about the underlying metric. We argue for a solution-the log odds measure-on the basis of Rasch's (1968a, 1968b) measurement model. This relies on a demonstration that, given a set of test items given to a set of subjects, the proportion of correct is, in technical terms, a sufficient statistic -that is, it captures all relevant variation in a subject's ability (or an item's difficulty). The example for the presentation of the problem is selected from recent reading research using comparison of accuracy in two related reading tasks. Reading accuracy with two tasks is a suitable example because it is a simple, much-used design. Researchers
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 10/2010; May 1(1998):409-423.
  • The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 10/2010; November 1(1998):815-817.
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    ABSTRACT: A well-established phenomenon in reasoning research is matching bias : a tendency to select information that matches the lexical content of propositional statements, regardless of the logically critical presence of negations. Previous research suggested, however, that the effect might be restricted to reasoning with conditional statements. This paper reports two experiments in which participants were required to construct or identify true and false cases of propositional rules of several kinds, including universal statements, disjunctions, and negated conjunctions. Matching bias was observed across all rule types but largely restricted to problems where participants were required to falsify rather than to verify the rules. A third experiment showed a similar generalization across linguistic forms in the Wason selection task with only if conditionals substituted for universals. The results are discussed with reference to contemporary theories of propositional reasoning.
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 10/2010; February 1(1999):185-216.
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    ABSTRACT: The central executive component of working memory is a poorly specified and very powerful system that could be criticized as little more than a homunculus. A research strategy is outlined that attempts to specify and analyse its component functions and is illustrated with four lines of research. The first concerns the study of the capacity to coordinate performance on two separate tasks. A second involves the capacity to switch retrieval strategies as reflected in random generation. The capacity to attend selectively to one stimulus and inhibit the disrupting effect of others comprises the third line of research, and the fourth involves the capacity to hold and manipulate information in long-term memory, as reflected in measures of working memory span. It is suggested that this multifaceted approach is a fruitful one that leaves open the question of whether it will ultimately prove more appropriate to regard the executive as a unified system with multiple functions, or simply as an agglomeration of independent though interacting control processes. In the meantime, it seems useful to continue to use the concept of a central executive as a reminder of the crucially important control functions of working memory.
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 10/2010; February 1(1996):5-28.
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    ABSTRACT: Two hypotheses concerning the meaning analysis of written inflected words were tested: Either analysis is governed by the stem, or the stem and the suffix receive simultaneous semantic analysis. The method involved a new semantic decision (picture-written word matching) paradigm utilizing the spatial information carried by Finnish locative case endings. Results supported the first hypothesis. In contrast to certain claims in the recent morphological processing literature, suffix-related semantic information is secondary to the stem and it becomes available later than stem-related semantic information.
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 10/2010; February 1(1999):253-259.
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    ABSTRACT: This study tested the hypothesis that strategic and non-strategic learning result in knowledge representations that are distinguished by different modes of retrieval for information about constituent structure. Subjects were taught concepts under conditions designed to induce either a strategic or non-strategic mode of learning. Following training, subjects participated in an attribute priming task designed to assess the extent to which information about constituent structure was automatically or strategically activated when concept knowledge was retrieved. Activation was measured at three SOAs: 250 msec, 500 msec, and 2000 msec. For the strategically learned concept, information about constituent structure did not show evidence of activation until 2000 msec. For the non-strategically learned concept this information was activated by 250 msec but had declined to baseline by 2000 msec. These findings suggest that information about constituent structure is available for retrieval by strategic processes following strategic learning, but that this information is not available for retrieval by strategic processes following non-strategic learning. It is, however, available for automatic retrieval following non-strategic learning.
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 10/2010; February 1(1999):31-46.
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    ABSTRACT: Five experiments are reported based upon Evans'(1996) inspection time paradigm in which subjects are required to solve computer-presented Wason Selection Task problems while simultaneously using a mouse to indicate which card is currently under consideration. It had previously been found that selected cards were inspected for considerably longer than were non-selected cards, and this was taken as support for the existence of pre-conscious heuristics that direct attention towards relevant aspects of a problem. The first experiment reported here fully replicated this effect. However, by systematically varying the task format in subsequent experiments, the effect was found to diminish, disappear, or even reverse. The change in effect size and direction was not accompanied by any systematic variations in the subjects' card choices, indicating that the changes in taskformat had not altered the operation of the relevance-determining heuristics. On balance, it is suggested that the inspection time effect appears to be artefactual, and the inspection time paradigm therefore does not constitute satisfactory evidence for the existence of pre-conscious heuristics.
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 10/2010; November 1(1998):781-810.
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    ABSTRACT: Three experiments are reported in which a semantic variant of the Simon paradigm was used. In Experiment 1, participants saw Dutch and English words that corresponded to names of animals (e.g. DOG) or occupations (e.g. TEACHER). Participants were instructed to respond by saying ANIMAL or OCCUPATION, depending on whether the presented word was a Dutch or English word (i.e. relevant stimulus feature) but irrespective of whether the word was the name of an animal or an occupation (i.e. irrelevant stimulus feature). Results showed that responses were facilitated when the correct response corresponded to the name of the semantic category of the presented word (e.g. saying “ANIMAL” to DOG) compared to when it was the name of a different semantic category (e.g. saying “OCCUPATION” to DOG), even though the semantic category of the presented word was irrelevant and had to be ignored. Category membership also influenced response times when letter case (upper- or lower-case: Experiment 2) and grammatical category (noun or adjective: Experiment 3) had to be determined in order to select a category label as a response. The semantic Simon effect offers a new tool that can be used to study automatic semantic processing.
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 10/2010; August 1(1998):683-688.
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    ABSTRACT: An irrelevant sequence of discrete auditory tokens disrupts serial recall markedly if successive tokens differ, but the disruption is less marked if the sound is repeated. However, the relation of stimulus mismatch and degree of disruption with serial recall seems to be modulated by organizational principles such as streaming by pitch and streaming by location. The current empirical work replicates the finding that the impact of changing sequences can be reduced if tokens are assigned to different locations in such a way as to form separate streams, each containing sequences of repeated tokens. This study shows that this phenomenon is not a consequence of reducing the number of tokens per stream.
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 10/2010; August 1(1999):545-554.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper deals with the concept of falsification in hypothesis testing research. A theoretical analysis of assumptions about falsifying behaviour and hypothesis-falsifying observations is presented, with two experimental studies. Both the theoretical analysis and the experimental results point to a number of paradoxes underlying the normative principle of falsification in cognitive psychology. First, subjects experience the falsificatory testing strategy as an impossible strategy to conduct. Obtaining falsifying results is a consequence of the quality of the hypothesis rather than of specific testing behaviour (Experiment 1 and Experiment 2). Second, under some conditions falsifying results impede rather than facilitate discovery (Experiment 2). Confirmatory testing and falsificatory testing, which have been the crucial concepts in the study of hypothesis-testing behaviour, may actually be questionable approaches to testing behaviour. The theoretical analysis is related to the standard analyses of Popper (1963) and Klayman and Ha (1987). The empirical results are discussed in relation to previous studies on falsificatory testing behaviour.
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 10/2010; May 1(1996):447-462.
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    ABSTRACT: Two principal types of account of repetition priming postulate either facilitation of activation of perceptual representations used in stimulus recognition, or retrieval of specific processing episodes as possible mechanisms by which the effect occurs; these make different predictions concerning the priming of two stimuli presented simultaneously. In Experiments 1–3, subjects made same/different decisions about picture-word stimulus pairs. Recombining the pairings of a subset of items between training and test encounters did not significantly reduce the benefit in response time from repetition, as compared to pairs repeated intact. Subjects were able to remember the pairings (Experiment 4), but this did not influence repetition priming. Instead, the memory representations underlying the priming of each item in a pair were independent. No priming was found between pictures seen at training and words at test, and vice versa (Experiment 5), indicating that representations underlying the repetition effect were domain-specific. In Experiment 6, stimuli were all from within the domain of object pictures. Again, recombining the pairings of items between training and test did not significantly reduce the benefit in response time from repetition, as compared to pairs repeated intact. These results reveal an item-specific locus for repetition priming, consistent with priming occurring within pre-semantic perceptual representation systems involved in item recognition. The findings pose problems for theories that argue that repetition effects result only from retrieval of entire processing episodes.
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 10/2010; May 1(1996):269-294.

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