Applied Cognitive Psychology

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1099-0720
Publications
Article
Evidence has accumulated over the past 15 years that affect in humans is cyclical. In winter there is a tendency to depression, with remission in summer, and this effect is stronger at higher latitudes. In order to determine whether human cognition is similarly rhythmical, this study investigated the cognitive processes of 100 participants living at 69 degrees N. Participants were tested in summer and winter on a range of cognitive tasks, including verbal memory, attention and simple reaction time tasks. The seasonally counterbalanced design and the very northerly latitude of this study provide optimal conditions for detecting impaired cognitive performance in winter, and the conclusion is negative: of five tasks with seasonal effects, four had disadvantages in summer. Like the menstrual cycle, the circannual cycle appears to influence mood but not cognition.
 
Article
The present study examined whether the use of human figure diagrams within a well-structured interview was associated with more elaborate and clearer accounts about physical contact that had occurred in the course of an alleged abuse. The sample included investigative interviews of 88 children ranging from 4 to 13 years of age. Children were interviewed using the NICHD Investigative Interview Protocol, and were then asked a series of questions in association with unclothed gender-neutral outline diagrams of a human body. A new coding scheme was developed to examine the types and clarity of touch-related information. Use of the HFDs was associated with reports of new touches not mentioned before and elaborations regarding the body parts reportedly touched. The HFDs especially helped clarify reports by the oldest rather than the youngest children. The clarity of children's accounts of touch was also greater when details were sought using recall prompts.
 
Article
Pezdek and Blandon-Gitlin (in press) found that 25% of their participants reported as plausible or very plausible that they themselves could have been a victim of childhood sexual abuse without being able to remember it. In addition, they found that the 25% figure increased to 61% for participants who reported that they were likely at some point in their life to seek psychotherapy. Given past work showing that it is easier to implant a false memory for plausible events, and counter to Pezdek and Blandon-Gitlin's conclusions, these data point to a substantial danger of implanting false memories of childhood sexual abuse during therapy in many people and in most people who are likely to go into therapy. Theoretical issues regarding plausibility are discussed.
 
Article
Adults have difficulties accurately judging how well they have learned text materials; unfortunately, such low levels of accuracy may obscure age-related deficits. Higher levels of accuracy have been obtained when younger adults make postdictions about which test questions they answered correctly. Accordingly, we focus on the accuracy of postdictive judgments to evaluate whether age deficits would emerge with higher levels of accuracy and whether people's postdictive accuracy would benefit from providing an appropriate standard of evlauation. Participants read texts with definitions embedded in them, attempted to recall each definition, and then made a postdictive judgment about the quality of their recall. When making these judgments, participants either received no standard or were presented the correct definition as a standard for evaluation. Age-related equivalence was found in the relative accuracy of these term-specific judgments, and older adults' absolute accuracy benefited from providing standards to the same degree as did younger adults.
 
Article
Three-hundred and one young adults evaluated medical dilemmas in which a patient (1) was portrayed as either 40 or 70 years old, (2) decided to either refuse or consent to a risky treatment for a serious medical disorder, and (3) received either positively or negatively framed information about the potential effectiveness of a proposed medical treatment. Participants' evaluations of the patients' decisions reflected the implementation of a framing heuristic and an age heuristic. The framing heuristic influenced participants' judgements of patients who refused the proposed treatment. Specifically, information which was positively framed resulted in risk-avoiding judgements, while information which was negatively framed resulted in risk-taking judgements. The age heuristic predisposed participants to recommend that 40 year old patients, more so than 70-year-old patients, opt for high-risk medical treatments that could potentially add a large number of years to their lives.
 
Article
Viewers looked at print advertisements as their eye movements were recorded. Half of them were asked to rate how much they liked each ad (for convenience, we will generally use the term 'ad' from this point on), while the other half were asked to rate the effectiveness of each ad. Previous research indicated that viewers who were asked to consider purchasing products in the ads looked at the text earlier and more often than the picture part of the ad. In contrast, viewers in the present experiment looked at the picture part of the ad earlier and longer than the text. The results indicate quite clearly that the goal of the viewer very much influences where (and for how long) viewers look at different parts of ads, but also indicate that the nature of the ad per se matters.
 
Sample stimuli. The average face ( f AVG ), a veridical face ( f ), and its corresponding caricature ( f C ) with an exaggeration level a 1⁄4 þ 0.64 
(a) Distribution of faces in a hypothetical two-dimensional space, (b) following normal- ization by their distance to the average face and (c) following caricaturization 
Face recognition accuracy on (a) the Calibration Study, (b) Experiment 1, (c) Experiment 2 and (d) Experiment 3 
Hit rates on the dual presentations of the targets during (a) the calibration study and (b) Experiment 1 
Article
Prior research suggests that recognition of a person's face can be facilitated by exaggerating the distinctive features of the face during training. We tested if this 'reverse-caricature effect' would be robust to procedural variations that created more difficult learning environments. Specifically, we examined whether the effect would emerge with frontal rather than three-quarter views, after very brief exposure to caricatures during the learning phase and after modest rotations of faces during the recognition phase. Results indicate that, even under these difficult training conditions, people are more accurate at recognizing unaltered faces if they are first familiarized with caricatures of the faces, rather than with the unaltered faces. These findings support the development of new training methods to improve face recognition.
 
Article
Using previously collected data of fourth-grade children observed eating school meals and then interviewed, we categorized intrusions (food items reported but not observed eaten) as stretches (on the child's tray) or confabulations (not on the child's tray). We investigated intrusions, confabulations, and stretches, and the role of liking, at different retention intervals (morning interviews about the previous day's intake; evening interviews about that day's intake) and under different reporting-order prompts (forward; reverse). As retention interval between consumption and report increased, the likelihood 1) increased that reported items were intrusions, that reported items were confabulations, and that intrusions were confabulations; and 2) was constant that reported items were stretches. Results concerning reporting-order prompts were inconclusive. Liking ratings were higher for matches (reports of items observed eaten) than stretches, for confabulations than stretches, and for matches than omissions (unreported items observed eaten), but did not vary by retention interval or reporting-order prompts.
 
Article
This study identifies a number of sources of individual differences in SAT performance by examining the simultaneous contributions of factors from two otherwise disparate research areas, namely cognition/learning and social/personality. Preliminary analysis revealed that just the cognitive/learning measures accounted for 37.8, 41.4 and 21.9% of the variance in SAT, V-SAT and Q-SAT performance, respectively while just the social/personality measures accounted for 21.4, 18.2 and 17.3% of the variance. When combined, cognitive/learning and social/personality factors accounted for even larger amounts of variance in performance; specifically 43.4, 44.6 and 28% for the SAT, V-SAT and Q-SAT, respectively. Finally, the results revealed that three measures consistently predicted performance on the SAT, V-SAT and Q-SAT; two measures were the learning/cognitive factors of working memory and integration of new text-based information with information from long-term memory and one measure was the social/personality factor, test anxiety.
 
The schematized map of Palatino that has been used for the orientation tasks 
Profiles of women and men's performance in (A) the four VSWM tasks and (B) the eight orientation tasks. Values are reported in T points (mean ¼ 50 and standard deviation ¼ 10)
Results of ANOVAs as a function of gender separately for (A) good and (B) poor orienters on the eight orientation tasks
Profiles of (A) good and (B) poor orienters as a function of gender in eight orientation tasks. Values are reported in T points (mean ¼ 50 and standard deviation ¼ 10)
Article
Experimental evidence and meta-analyses offer some support for gender-related differences in visuo-spatial ability. However, few studies addressed this issue in an ecological context and/or in everyday tasks implying spatial abilities, such as geographical orientation. Moreover, the relation of specific strategies and gender is still unclear. In the present investigation, we compared men and women in a newly designed battery of spatial orientation tasks in which landmark, route and survey knowledge were considered. In addition, four visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM) tasks were presented. Significant differences favouring men in VSWM tasks were reported, supporting existing evidence. However, men and women did not significantly differ in orientation tasks performance. The patterns of correlation between working memory and spatial orientation tasks indicated that men and women used somewhat different strategies in carrying out the orientation tasks. In particular, active processes seem to play a greater role in females' performance, thus confirming the importance of this variable in interpreting gender effect in VSWM tasks. Altogether, results indicate that gender effects could well result from differences in cognitive strategies and support data indicating that adequate training could reduce or eliminate them. Copyright (c) 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
The current study examined cognitive-emotional distinctiveness (CED), the extent to which emotions are linked with event information, in memories associated with PTSD. Participants either with PTSD (n=68) or without PTSD (n=40) completed a modified multidimensional scaling technique to measure CED for their most negative and most positive events. The results revealed that participants in the PTSD group evidenced significantly lower levels of CED. This group difference remained significant when we limited the analysis to traumatic events that led to a PTSD diagnosis (n=33) in comparison to control participants who nominated a traumatic event that did not result in PTSD (n=32). Replicating previous findings, CED levels were higher in memories of negative events, in comparison to positive events. These results provide empirical evidence that memories associated with PTSD do contain special organizational features with respect to the links between emotions and memory. Implications for understanding and treating PTSD are discussed.
 
Article
Collaborative cognition, in which two or more people work together on a cognitive task, may be typical of everyday life, and may even represent an important aspect of everyday cognitive adaptation for older adults. We examined collaborative memory for stories by comparing younger (n = 64) older (n = 66) individuals and dyads with collaborative performance produced by married spouses and stranger dyads. Overall, across four collaborative recall products (two positive and two negative performance indicators), some evidence for our hypothesis of general or selective collaborative effectiveness was observed. Moreover, such evidence was obtained at both an immediate and delayed recall episode. Discussion includes applications, limitations and suggestions for future research.
 
Article
Mental health clinicians are tasked to diagnose and treat the millions of people worldwide seeking help for mental health issues. This paper investigates the memory clinicians have for patient information. We hypothesize that clinicians encapsulate mental health knowledge through experience into more abstract concepts, as in other domains changing what clinicians remember about patients compared with non-professionals. We tested memory for realistic patient-therapist interactions in experienced clinicians, intermediately trained graduate students, and laypeople. Clinicians recalled fewer facts than intermediate trainees and as many as laypeople. Furthermore, clinicians reported more abstracted information than all other participants, providing the first empirical demonstration of knowledge encapsulation in the memory of mental health clinicians. We discuss how our results fit into the existing literature on clinical expertise in mental health and the implications of our findings for future research relevant to mental health care.
 
Article
Survey respondents have been found to systematically overreport their participation in political elections. Although the sociodemographic correlates of this response bias are well known, only a few studies have analyzed the determinants predicted by two prominent theoretical explanations for vote overreporting: memory failure and social desirability bias. Both explanations have received empirical support in studies in which the probability of vote overreporting was found to increase (a) with the time between the election and the survey interview and (b) when respondents were more politically involved. In the present paper, we argue that the effect of each of these determinants is not simply additive, but depends on the value of the respective other factor. This interaction effect has been found with data from the American National Election Studies: The probability of vote overreporting increases significantly stronger with the respondents’ political involvement when more time has elapsed since the election day.
 
Article
Many people claim to remember how they heard about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001—including George W. Bush, the President of the United States at the time. On at least three occasions, the President was asked how he heard the news of the attacks. His answers contained substantial inconsistencies and provide a near-perfect example of a false flashbulb memory. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
In typical dual-task driving studies, participants concurrently perform pairs of driving-related and -unrelated tasks (e.g. vehicle braking and mental arithmetic). Requiring responses to both may implicitly equate their importance. In real-life driving, however, the potential for collision dictates that a concurrent task should be assigned far lower priority than driving. To better reflect naturalistic driving conditions, we not only instructed participants to assign maximum priority to braking in a simulated driving task, but also encouraged them to ignore the concurrent task altogether on dual-task trials. Despite these instructions, responses to the concurrent task often preceded braking, which suffered from dual-task interference. We also found that redundant signals to the lead vehicle's brake lights resulted in faster braking responses and an increased likelihood that the braking response would occur first. The results are consistent with the Central Bottleneck (CB) model of dual-task interference and may help guide the design of driver-assistance systems. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
We examined emotional reactions to and subsequent memory for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in individuals with a history of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Surveys were conducted among clients, staff, and visitors of a Veterans Administration Hospital approximately one month and again 10 months after the attacks. As compared to a trauma-control group matched on age, sex, education, and veteran status, PTSD participants reported being more negatively affected by the attacks in the follow-up, but not in the initial survey. PTSD and matched trauma control participants were similar in various measures of their initial autobiographical memory and event memory for factual details of the attacks. However, within-subject comparison revealed significant forgetting over the 9 months in event memory only for the PTSD participants. Furthermore, PTSD participants exhibited a tendency to inflate the emotional aspects of their memory over time. Finally, only in the PTSD group, age was negatively correlated with event memory, suggesting an accelerated memory decline with age associated with PTSD. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Previous research has documented the beneficial effects of expressive narrative writing, and especially the inclusion of cognitive processing and emotion words, for alleviating stress. In this study, 65 mostly white Emory University undergraduates of Judeo-Christian backgrounds recalled their emotional reaction upon hearing the news of 9/11 within 2 months of the event, and again one month and 6 months later. Between the initial and one month assessment, participants engaged in expressive writing for 20 minutes a day for 5 consecutive days. Individuals who had higher personal involvement in the events of 9/11, through knowing someone who was killed or having lived in the affected areas, recalled being more shocked and upset upon hearing the news across time, and used fewer cognitive processing and positive emotion words in their narratives, than those with no direct involvement. Individuals who used more cognitive processing and emotion words in their narratives subsequently recalled being less shocked and upset upon hearing the news. Implications of these finding for emotional memory and emotional regulation are discussed. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
This research compares event memory and autobiographical memory for an event that was experienced to be more distressing, with more significant and widespread consequences than was any other event for which memory has been studied in a large sample. Memory for the events of September 11 was assessed seven weeks later in three samples: (a) 275 college students from Manhattan; (b) 167 college students from California; and (c) 127 college students from Hawaii. Whereas event memory was most accurate in the New York sample most involved in and most distressed by the events, autobiographical memory was reported with the least detail in this sample. This finding is consistent with the prediction that it is the synergy of arousal and rehearsal that affects memory for stressful events. Constructive memory distortions are also evident in the data; 73% of the respondents reported (incorrectly) that on September 11, they saw on television, the videotape of the first plane striking the first World Trade Center tower. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
One week and six months following 9/11, University of Toronto students completed a questionnaire that assessed memory for that day's events. Questions assessed personal autobiographical information and event-related information. Recently, Pezdek (2003) reported that ‘flash-bulb memories’ for event and autobiographical information varied with the extent of participant involvement: as emotional involvement increased, event memory improved whereas autobiographical memory declined. This dichotomy was further explored in this study with a Canadian sample, a group expected to be less personally involved in the events. In accordance with Pezdek's hypothesis, the consistency of recall was better for autobiographical information than for event information. The two types of memories were also differentially affected by (1) emotion: event memory was better for those who experienced higher levels of emotion, whereas autobiographical memory was unaffected by emotion; and (2) the passage of time: over the six-month interval, the accuracy of event memory declined, whereas the number of personal information details actually increased. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Modified model of predictors of 9/11 conspiracist beliefs. Note: *p < .05, **p < .001. Dashed paths added to the hypothesised model. All coefficients are standardised β values. Sex coded 1 = Men, 2 = Women. PCS = Political Cynicism Scale; SDP = Support for Democratic Principles; AA = Attitudes to Authority. Bivariate correlation coefficients reported in the text
Demographics and descriptive statistics for the study sample (in percentages unless otherwise stated)
Means and standard deviations of responses to the 9/11 conspiracist beliefs scale, and principal components and loadings
(Continued)
Article
Given the widespread appeal of conspiratorial beliefs, it is surprising that very little empirical research has examined the psychological variables associated with such beliefs. In the present study, we examined individual and demographic predictors of beliefs in conspiracy theories concerning the September 11, 2001 (9/11) attacks on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon among a representative British sample of 254 women and men. Results of structural equation modelling showed that 9/11 conspiracist beliefs were positively associated with belief in other conspiracy theories, exposure to 9/11 conspiracist ideas, political cynicism, defiance of authority and the Big Five personality factor of Agreeableness. In total, a model including demographics, personality and individual difference variables explained over 50% of the variance in 9/11 conspiracist ideas. The implications of these findings for the literature on conspiracy theories are discussed. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Mean memory specificity scores as a function of nationality (British vs. Italian) and event (Princess Diana vs. September 11) in Study 1 
Mean ratings of vividness as a function of nationality (British vs. Italian) and event (Princess Diana vs. September 11) in Study 1 
Mean ratings of surprise, emotion, personal and national importance on 10-Point rating scales as a function of nationality (British vs. Italian) and event (Princess Diana vs. September 11) in Study 1 British Italian
Article
This study examines flashbulb memories of a salient recent and a distant public event to assess patterns of forgetting in the formal characteristics of these memories. Memories of a recent event (September 11) were compared to memories of a distant event (the death of Princess Diana) in several samples of British and one sample of Italian participants. In British participants, the 51-month old memories of the death of Princess Diana were as detailed and specific as their memories of a 3-month old event, September 11. Moreover, their memories of Princess Diana were not different from memories of September 11 collected immediately or very soon after September 11 in two other groups of British participants. Results suggest that flashbulb memories of a distant public event can be as detailed, specific and vivid as memories of a very recent event. For Italian participants, however, flashbulb memory scores for September 11 were reliably higher than for the death of Princess Diana. There was also a small albeit reliable loss of specificity in British participants' memories of September 11 over the subsequent three months. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
We tested Turkish participants' (n=483) autobiographical and event memory for the events of September 11, 2001 3 days, 6 months, and 1 year after the event. The amount of autobiographical detail participants reported was very high after one year. The accuracy of event memory was moderate at 3 days, and declined sharply by 6 months. The consistency of autobiographical memory was higher than that of event memory at all time lags; however, there was no interaction between time lag and memory type. The data also provided partial support for Pezdek's (2003) conceptualization that the degree of involvement has different effects on event and autobiographical memory. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
The recollection of particularly salient, surprising or consequential events is often called ‘flashbulb memories’. We tested people's autobiographical memory for details of 11 September 2001 by gathering a large national random sample (N = 678) of people's reports immediately following the attacks, and then by contacting them twice more, in September 2002 and August 2003. Three novel findings emerged. First, memory consistency did not vary as a function of demographic variables such as gender, geographical location, age or education. Second, memory consistency did not vary as a function of whether memory was tested before or after the 1-year anniversary of the event, suggesting that media coverage associated with the anniversary did not impact memory. Third, the conditional probability of consistent recollection in 2003 given consistent recollection in 2002 was p = .73. In contrast, the conditional probability of consistent recollection in 2003 given inconsistent recollection in 2002 was p = .18. Finally, and in agreement with several prior studies, confidence in memory far exceeded consistency in the long term. Also, those respondents who revealed evidence for consistent flashbulb memory experienced more anxiety in response to the event, and engaged in more covert rehearsal than respondents who did not reveal evidence for consistent flashbulb memory. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Participants reconstructed the serial order of events associated with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Accuracy was stable as the retention interval doubled from 9 weeks to 18 weeks, but most participants (63%) made errors sequencing even the ‘unforgettable’ events of that day, with most errors (72%) falling within one position of being correct. This positional gradient (near misses more common than far misses) mirrored that found in laboratory studies of order memory, despite basic differences in how ordinal information was presented to observers, suggesting that the positional gradient may generalize across many different circumstances of serial-order reconstruction. Monte Carlo simulations illustrate this possibility by showing that simple constraints on pairs of events explain substantial variance in the data. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
The relationship between working memory skills and performance on national curriculum assessments in English, mathematics and science was explored in groups of children aged 7 and 14 years. At 7 years, children's levels of attainment in both English and mathematics were significantly associated with working memory scores, and in particular with performance on complex span tasks. At 14 years, strong links persisted between the complex working memory test scores and attainments levels in both mathematics and science, although ability in the English assessments showed no strong association with working memory skill. The results suggest that the intellectual operations required in the curriculum areas of mathematics and science are constrained by the general capacity of working memory across the childhood years. However, whereas success in the acquisition in literacy (tapped by the English assessments at the youngest age) was also linked with working memory capacity, achievements in the higher-level skills of comprehension and analysis of English literature assessed at 14 years were independent of working memory capacity. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Frequency of behaviour is often assessed by scales using relative frequencies such as ‘often’ or ‘rarely’, so-called vague quantifiers. Previous research showed that respondents calibrate such scales according to subjective standards. Here, it is argued that respondents follow conversational norms and if possible try to figure out which calibration the researcher had in mind and adapt their responses accordingly. They may use the survey context to infer a relevant anchor for such vague quantifiers. In the present study, although respondents did not differ in absolute behaviour frequencies, their reports of relative frequencies were influenced by information about the target population and the topic of the survey. Apparently, respondents anchored the scale according to the estimated frequency in the target population and the frequency of other behaviours relevant to the topic of the survey. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Twenty years after Baddeley admonished memory researchers to examine the real-world relevance of their findings, research has informed a wide range of practical issues and it is increasingly guided by analyses of memory functions. Although broadly defined social, self and directive functional categories have provided an initial organizational framework for autobiographical memory research, the functional agenda will benefit from conceptual and methodological refinements and innovations. An especially valuable research strategy targets specific functions in carefully defined experimental and practical contexts. Promising research directions include comparing functions served by positive versus negative memories, tracking the early development of memory functions, and exploring individual and group differences. Although reconstructive memory processes contribute to inaccuracies in reproducing the past, functional analysis instead highlights the adaptive value of a flexible and constructive memory system. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
In two influential articles, Paul Ekman and associates have determined ‘who can catch a liar’ and reported that ‘a few can catch a liar’. The current article seeks to clarify these contributions. It provides information that was not mentioned in Ekman's journal articles. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
The recent paper by Schraw (Measures of feeling-of-knowing accuracy: a new look at an old problem, Applied Cognitive Psychology, 1995, 9, 321—332) is flawed by several inaccuracies and by Schraw's failure to distinguish between two fundamentally different aspects of the accuracy of metacognitive predictions: (1) calibration (aka absolute accuracy, defined in terms of whether the predicted value assigned to a single item is followed by the occurrence of that value on the criterion test), and (2) resolution (aka relative accuracy, defined in terms of whether the predicted performance on one item relative to another item is followed by the occurrence of that ordering of the two items on the criterion test). Because of these (and other) problems, his recommendations seem misleading and counterproductive.
 
Article
During the past four years there has been an explosion of interest in prospective memory research, culminating recently in the success of the First International Conference on Prospective Memory (July, 2000). In this paper we take the opportunity to review progress in the area by identifying some key themes and issues that arose during the conference and that are exemplified in the papers contained in this special issue. Finally, we consider future directions for research and some of the key questions that we believe all researchers in this area will need to address. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
In ‘Geographic profiling: The fast, frugal, and accurate way’ (Applied Cognitive Psychology, 2004, vol. 18, pp. 105–121), we demonstrated that most people are able to predict the home location of a serial offender by using a simple prediction strategy that exploits patterns found in the offender's spatial behaviour. In this issue of Applied Cognitive Psychology, Rossmo challenges the validity of this research with respect to our data selection and methods of analysis. In response, we argue that: his proposed method for selecting data is unscientific; there is little evidence to support his claim that five crimes are required before profiles can be accurate; search area as a measure of profile accuracy has not yet been shown to be more useful than error distance; the heuristics we have examined are defined correctly and do lead to improvements in profile accuracy; and computerized geographic profiling is not a free service. Our comments aim to generate constraint in those intent on building confidence in computerized geographic profiling systems in the absence of strong empirical evidence to support their use. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Bond (2008) objects to the attention given to two of our publications on lie detection accuracy because of what he suggests is incompetence in one case and suppression of data in the other. It is our opinion that his claims are based principally on a tortured re-interpretation of a manuscript we attempted to publish that he has kept in his possession for more than a decade and cites without our permission. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
China suffered both a heavy snow-hit and a major earthquake in 2008. To investigate the effects of disasters on risky decision making, opportunity samples were obtained by recruiting residents in both devastated and non-devastated areas. In a survey (Study 1) conducted shortly after the heavy snow-hit, we found that people were not always more risk averse after a disaster as previous studies had claimed and that they were inclined to approach an option with ‘low probability associated gain’ and to avoid an option with ‘low probability associated loss’. These findings were replicated in a consecutive survey (Study 2) conducted after the Wenchuan earthquake. It was further found that the popularity of both insurance and lottery, which presumably contributed to overweighing of small probabilities, was detected to have been enhanced with substantial exposure to the earthquake disaster. The implications of these findings for risk education and government policy making were discussed. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
In several studies over the past ten years, we have reported that false memories are significantly less likely to be suggestively planted for events that are relatively implausible. Recently, Sharman and Scoboria (2009) reported no effect of event plausibility on rates of planting false childhood memories; that is, imagination inflation resulted for both moderate and low plausibility false childhood events after imagining those events. However, considerable differences in methodology, differences in operational definitions of key terms, and differences in data analysis techniques between these two studies bar these conclusions. Their study is also plagued by an error of circular logic; the researchers did not define the independent variable (plausibility) independently of the dependent variable (LEI change scores). In light of these problems, the findings of Pezdek et al. (2006), and the cognitive model they proposed, remain unchallenged by the results of Sharman and Scoboria. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Summary of study features and associated limitations imposed on testing betrayal trauma theory Feature of Lindblom and Gray study Limitation on testing BTT 
Article
Betrayal trauma theory (BTT) predicts that unawareness of abuse by someone on whom a victim is dependent may serve to protect a necessary relationship. Lindblom and Gray (2009) contribute to a growing line of BTT studies by measuring narrative detail in a sample of undergraduates who met Criterion A of the PTSD diagnosis and who rated the abuse as their most distressing trauma. Although many core betrayal traumas do not fit Criterion A, Lindblom and Gray found a small effect in the predicted direction. Having found an effect as predicted by BTT, curiously the authors then argue that PTSD Avoidance is a confound for forgetting the abuse to be statistically managed. This is particularly curious since symptom 3 of Criterion C is ‘inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma’. Despite constraining participant selection and other methodological issues, Lindblom and Gray's results add support to BTT. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
In order to investigate the influence of learner-controlled pacing in educational animation on instructional efficiency, three versions of an audio-visual computer animation and a narration-only presentation were used to teach primary school students the determinants of day and night. The animations were either system-paced using a continuous animation, learner-paced using discrete segments or learner paced using ‘stop’ and ‘play’ buttons. The two learner-paced groups showed higher test performance with relatively lower cognitive load compared to the two system-paced groups, despite the fact that the ‘stop’ and ‘play’ buttons were rarely used. The significant group differences regarding test performance were obtained only for more difficult, high element interactivity questions but not for low element interactivity questions. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Students learned toy assembly sequences presented in picture, text, or one of three multimedia formats, and completed order verification, recall, and object assembly tasks. Experiment 1 compared repetitious (i.e. dual format presentations each conveying similar information) with complementary (i.e. dual format presentations each conveying different information) multimedia presentations. Repetitious presentations appear to provide learning benefits as a function of their inherent redundancy; complementary presentations provide benefits as a result of users actively integrating picture and text elements into a cohesive mental model. Experiment 2 compared repetitious with interleaved (i.e. assembly steps presented in alternating picture-text formats) multimedia presentations. Again, multimedia presentations led to overall learning advantages relative to single-format presentations, with an emphasis on both repetition and integrative working memory processes. Object assembly performance consistently demonstrated the utility of picture learning, with or without accompanying text. Results are considered relative to classic and contemporary learning theory, and inform educational design. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
To a very large extent, children learn in and out of school from written text. Information Communications Technologies (ICT) offers many possibilities to facilitate learning by confronting children with multimodal texts. In order to be able to implement learning environments that optimally facilitate children's learning, insight is needed into the cognitive processes underlying text comprehension. In this light, the aim of this special issue is to report on new advances in text comprehension research in perspective of educational implications. Starting from recent theoretical frameworks on the cognitive processes underlying text comprehension, the online processing of text will be discussed in adults and in school children. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
The current investigative interviewing model for police officers in England and Wales recommends the use of the cognitive interview (CI). However, there is much to suggest that police officers do not regularly fully apply the procedure and that when they do, it is often poorly applied. Research has indicated that this is particularly the case with non-specialist police investigators who believe the CI is too cumbersome, complex and time consuming for the types of witness interviews they conduct. With this in mind the present study investigated a CI procedure that had been substantially modified in an attempt to enhance its forensic practicability while retaining the demonstrated superiority of the CI. Employing the mock witness paradigm, the modified procedure was compared to both the current CI model and a structured interview (SI). Results revealed that the modified CI was more effective than the SI, while being as effective as the current CI, despite being significantly shorter in duration and, we argue, less demanding for the interviewer. Hence, the proposed modified CI may well be an effective practical alternative for frontline investigators. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Large-scale diet-related epidemiological work relies on the quality of self-reported food consumption. As this epidemiological work forms the basis of knowledge of the relationship of diet to disease, it is essential that the self-reports of personal diet are understood. It is generally accepted that foods consumed are under-reported, even over as short a period as 24 hours. However, little is known about the potential systematic biases that may affect the quality of self-reported food intake. The current study examines the accuracy of memories of the consumption of snack foods eaten in the previous 24 hours and investigates factors that may bias these memories. All participants had previously participated in a randomized intervention trial to lower dietary fat intake to 20 per cent of calories. Fifty-six women (intervention and control) tasted eight snack foods in a laboratory setting. They were telephoned a day later and asked to recall the type of snack foods (M&Ms, pretzels, etc.) and the quantity of each food they consumed. Subjects in general under-reported the number of selections and the quantity of each item consumed. Women who accurately recalled an item, reported more liking for that item compared to those who forgot the item. Women currently maintaining a low-fat diet were less accurate in their recall of low-fat items than women on a high-fat diet. Low-fat eaters, however, may be slightly better at recalling how much of certain foods they consumed. Results have implications for survey research and understanding the psychological influences on reports of food consumption used in large-scale diet studies.
 
Article
There is usually a weak relation between memory complaints and laboratory memory performance, but few studies have investigated what people perceive as causes of their everyday memory problems. This study investigated prevalence, severity and perceived causes of memory problems in a population-based sample (N = 361, age-range 39–99). 30.2 per cent of the participants reported memory complaints (at least moderate memory problems). Higher age was associated with more severe memory problems, but the age-related differences were small. The most frequent perceived causes were age/ageing, stress and multitasking. Age/ageing as a cause was more frequent among older participants, and stress and multitasking were more frequent among middle-aged participants. The results suggest that everyday stress and level of engagement in multiple tasks or commitments, that place demands on cognitive resources, are important variables to consider when studying the relations between subjective everyday memory measures, age and memory performance in the laboratory. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
This is a book review of "Thought and Knowledge: An Introduction to Critical Thinking" (3rd Ed.) by Diane F. Halpern. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ, 1996. No. of pages 430. ISBN 0‐8058‐1493‐0 (hardback). ISBN 0‐8058‐1494‐9 (paperback). Also, a 205-page workbook is available.
 
Article
Oral story comprehension in 5.5, 7.5 and 9.5 year old children is examined in relation to working memory (WM) contributions. The phonological loop (PL) of the Baddeley and Hitch WM model was assessed with word, non-word and digit recall and a word list matching task. The central executive (CE) was assessed with listening, counting and backward digit recall tasks. A composite score was calculated for each WM component. Receptive vocabulary and oral comprehension were also assessed. Regression analyses demonstrated CE contributions to oral comprehension overall, and also to comprehension sub-skills (above any vocabulary contributions). Effects were stronger in preschoolers and decreased with age. The PL did not play an important role in oral comprehension. Comprehension control was the comprehension skill best predicted. The study demonstrates the CE importance in off-line comprehension processes during early childhood and the usefulness of assessing CE processes for identifying possible comprehension difficulties later at school. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Laboratory studies show that retention of information can be powerfully enhanced through testing, but evidence for their utility to promote long-term retention of course information is limited. We assessed 8th grade students' retention of U.S. history facts. Facts were reviewed after 1 week, 16 weeks or not reviewed at all. Some facts were reviewed by testing (Who assassinated president Abraham Lincoln?) followed by feedback (John Wilkes Booth), while others were re-studied. Nine months later, all students received a test covering all of the facts. Facts reviewed through testing were retained significantly better than facts reviewed through re-studying, and nearly twice as well as those given no review. The best retention occurred for facts that were reviewed by testing after a 16-week time interval. Although the gain in item was numerically small, due to floor effects, these results support the notion that testing can enhance long-term retention of course knowledge. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Confidence levels, mean relative interval (MRI) widths, and hit rates in Experiment 2
Mean confidence intervals, mean confidence, and hit rates in five conditions, Experiment 3
Mean hit rates and mean confidence estimates for population intervals, Experiment 4
Article
Estimated confidence intervals for general knowledge items are usually too narrow. We report five experiments showing that people have much less confidence in these intervals than dictated by the assigned level of confidence. For instance, 90% intervals can be associated with an estimated confidence of 50% or less (and still lower hit rates). Moreover, interval width appears to remain stable over a wide range of instructions (high and low numeric and verbal confidence levels). This leads to a high degree of overconfidence for 90% intervals, but less for 50% intervals or for free choice intervals (without an assigned degree of confidence). To increase interval width one may have to ask exclusion rather than inclusion questions, for instance by soliciting ‘improbable’ upper and lower values (Experiment 4), or by asking separate ‘more than’ and ‘less than’ questions (Experiment 5). We conclude that interval width and degree of confidence have different determinants, and cannot be regarded as equivalent ways of expressing uncertainty. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
This study examined how expert abacus operators process imagery. Without imagery instructions a digit series was auditorily presented as one whole number (WHL list) or separate digits (SEP list). RT from offset of the probe to onset of the response was measured. The main findings were as follows: experts showed no difference in RT between the two lists, while significant differences occurred in non-experts; non-experts' RT increased with probed position, while experts' RT was flat if the series size was within their image capacity; experts' RT increased with probed position when the series size was longer than their image capacity, but its rate of increase was smaller than that of non-experts; and the smaller the image capacity, the steeper the slope of the RT function. It was concluded that experts spontaneously encode the digit series into an imaged abacus, while non-experts encode it verbally; that experts directly access the probed position within their image but serially process the verbally coded overflowed part; and that non-experts search the digit series serially.
 
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Jon Krosnick
  • Stanford University
Fred Paas
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam and University of Wollongong
Paul Chandler
  • University of Wollongong
Susan Gathercole
  • Medical Research Council (UK)
Aldert Vrij
  • University of Portsmouth