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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    Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A website
  • Other titles
    The Quarterly journal of experimental psychology. A, Human experimental psychology, Human experimental psychology, Quarterly journal of experimental psychology., QJEP(A)
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    Periodical, Internet resource
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    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

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: In two causal induction experiments subjects rated the importance of pairs of candidate causes in the production of a target effect; one candidate was present on every trial (constant cause), whereas the other was present on only some trials (variable cause). The design of both experiments consisted of a factorial combination of two values of the variable cause's covariation with the effect and three levels of the base rate of the effect. Judgements of the constant cause were inversely proportional to the level of covariation of the variable cause but were proportional to the base rate of the effect. The judgements were consistent with the predictions derived from the Rescorla-Wagner (1972) model of associative learning and with the predictions of the causal power theory of the probabilistic contrast model (Cheng, 1997) or “power PC theory”. However, judgements of the importance of the variable candidate cause were proportional to the base rate of the effect, a phenomenon that is in some cases anticipated by the power PC theory. An alternative associative model, Pearce's (1987) similaritybased generalization model, predicts the influence of the base rate of the effect on the estimates of both the constant and the variable cause.
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 10/2010; February 1(1998):65-84.
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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: 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: Two experiments using Wason's selection task are reported in this paper. Their main purpose was to test the meaning of universal connectives (always and never) against the hypothetical conditional connective (if). In the first experiment, these two different kinds of connectives were used with the same content and in logically equivalent situations. Results demonstrated that universal connectives yield different patterns of responses than do hypothetical connectives. People seem to consider the situation described in the task in the same way, irrespective of the use of negations, when universal connectives are used, but not when the if… then structure is used. The second experiment extended these results to a different content, and to an abstract version of the task. An explanation in terms of mental models is provided.
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 10/2010; August 1(1996):814-827.
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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: This study examines contrasting predictions of the dual coding theory and the context availability hypothesis regarding concreteness effects in monolingual and bilingual lexical processing. In three experiments, concreteness was controlled for or confounded with rated context availability. In the first experiment, bilingual subjects performed lexical decision in their native language (Dutch, L1). In the second experiment, lexical decision performance of bilinguals in their second language (English, L2) was examined. In the third experiment, bilinguals translated words “forwards” (from L1 to L2) or “backwards” (from L2 to L1). Both monolingual and bilingual tasks showed a concreteness effect when concreteness was confounded with context availability. However, concreteness effects disappeared when abstract and concrete words were matched on context availability, and even occasionally reversed. Implications of these results for theories that account for concreteness effects, particulary in bilingual processing, are discussed.
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 10/2010; February 1(1998):41-63.
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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 06/2007; 33(4):507-522.
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    ABSTRACT: Cheng and Holyoak's abstract permission schema version of Wason's selection task and the standard abstract version of the task were examined in two experiments, each a factorial design with type of problem (permission vs. standard), presence or absence of a checking context, explicit or implicit negatives on the not-p and not-q cards, and presence or absence of a rule clarification statement as factors. The original permission problem violation-type instruction was employed in Experiment 1, and Margolis's not-p and not-q violation instruction (Griggs & Jackson, 1990) was used in Experiment 2. Subjects were 640 university undergraduates, with each subject solving only one problem. The major findings for permission tasks were: (1) facilitation for the abstract permission version was replicated but found to be dependent upon the presence of explicit negatives on the not-p and not-q cards; and (2) this facilitation was enhanced by the Margolis not-p and not-q instruction. Per Girotto, Mazzocco, and Cherubini (1992), these findings and the observed error patterns are consistent with pragmatic schema theory. The major findings for the standard version of the task were: (1) none of the factors significantly impacted proportion correct [performance was poor, 10% correct in 15 of 16 conditions] and (2) the number of not-p & not-q incorrect selections was increased significantly for the not-p and not-q instruction. These results are discussed in terms of Manktelow and Over's argument that the standard abstract task and the permission schema version are actually different problems.
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 05/2007; 1993(46A (4) 637–651):637-651.
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    ABSTRACT: Verification of object-property relationships, such as those involved in knowing that a canary is yellow, was examined in two studies. In the first study it was found that two variables, the dominance and the typicality of the property to an object, separately influenced verification speed. Moreover, the effectiveness of high over low dominant relationship was greater for atypical than for typical property relationships. The second study examined the two variables in a priming study. Participants were faster in verifying high compared to low typical relationships when primed by a property name; and faster with high compared to low dominant relationships when primed by the object name. This was taken as evidence for the asymmetric accessibility of object and property information. Taken together these findings indicate that the use and comprehension of property information is more complex than has hitherto been acknowledged and suggests that property statements might be verified much of the time by comparing a stored value to a prototypic standard.
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 05/2007; 33(1):39-49.

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