Implicit measures of attitudes are commonly seen to be primarily capable of predicting spontaneous behavior. However, evidence exists that these measures can also improve the prediction of more deliberate behavior. In a prospective study we tested the hypothesis that Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures of the five major political parties in Germany would improve the prediction of voting behavior over and above explicit self-report measures in the 2002 parliamentary elections. Additionally we tested whether general interest in politics moderates the relationship between explicit and implicit attitude measures. The results support our hypotheses. Implications for predictive models of explicitly and implicitly measured attitudes are discussed.
Recently, Sriram and Greenwald (2009) introduced a new IAT-like measure, the Brief Implicit Association Test (BIAT). Because the BIAT is a new development, empirical evidence for its validity is yet scarce. This comment focuses on two possible approaches to validation research on the BIAT: (1) a pragmatic correlational approach and (2) an experimental approach aiming at causal understanding of the BIAT task. We argue that both approaches provide valuable and mutually complementing evidence, but only experimental research can conclusively show that the to-be-measured constructs causally influence BIAT scores. Because such a causal analysis is at the core of the validity problem, research on the BIAT should reduce the asymmetry in favor of correlational validation that emerged in traditional IAT research.
We describe Affect 4.0, a user-friendly software package for implementing psychological and psychophysiological experiments. Affect 4.0 can be used to present visual, acoustic, and/or tactile stimuli in highly complex (i.e., semirandomized and response-contingent) sequences. Affect 4.0 is capable of registering response latencies and analog behavioral input with millisecond accuracy. Affect 4.0 is available free of charge.
Long-term memory for large numbers of color photographs with a common motif--doors--was studied using pictures with two levels of informative cues: original photographs, and edited pictures in which extraneous information on details such as vegetation, paint scratches, signs, and lamp posts was removed. In the study phase, subjects viewed 400 pictures and were subsequently tested for memory on two-alternative forced-choice discriminations between studied and distracter pictures from the same picture category, at retention intervals between 0.5 h and 9 days. When tested with the nonedited original photographs immediate memory performance was close to 85% correct; when pictorial details were removed memory performance dropped by 20%. The decay functions were shallow with parallel paths for the categories of pictures. It is concluded that specific details of visual scenes contributed to long-term memory of those scenes.
Using a conditioned suppression preparation, we investigated extinction and aba-, abc-, and aab-renewal of Pavlovian modulation in human sequential Feature Positive (FP) discrimination learning, X → A+/A-. Extinction treatment was administered in the acquisition context a (aaa- and aab-groups) or in a new context b (aba- and abc-groups) and comprised X → A- extinction trials. Discriminative X → A/A responding was lost in all groups when tested in the extinction context. In the aba-group, the discriminative X → A/A responding totally recovered when retested in the acquisition context a. For the aaa-, the aab-, and the abc-group, discriminative X → A/A responding did not reappear when tested for renewal in, respectively, contexts a, b, and c. The demonstration of aba-renewal of extinguished modulation, but not abc- and aab-renewal, suggests that extinction in a context different from the acquisition context and a return to the original acquisition context might both be critical for renewal of Pavlovian modulation in human FP-discrimination learning.
Grégoire, Perruchet, and Poulin-Charronnat (2013) claimed that the Musical Stroop task, which reveals the automaticity of note naming in musician experts, provides a new tool for studying the development of automatisms through extensive training in natural settings. Many of the criticisms presented in the four commentaries published in this issue appear to be based on a misunderstanding of our procedure, or questionable postulates. We maintain that the Musical Stroop Effect offers promising possibilities for further research on automaticity, with the main proviso that the current procedure makes it difficult to tease apart facilitation and interference.
Compared to blocking of conditioned excitation, which is one of the most investigated cue competition phenomena, blocking of conditioned inhibition has more or less been neglected in conditioning research. We conducted a human causal learning study and found evidence for blocking of conditioned inhibition. The results favor the view that inhibition is the symmetrical opposite of excitation, underlying the same general principles.
The hypothesis that retrieval of the prime response is responsible for the negative priming (NP) effect has gained popularity in recent studies of visual identity NP. In the current study we report an experiment in which we aimed to remove the response from the prime memory trace by means of spatio-temporal separation. Compared to an identical experiment without this separation ( Ihrke et al., 2011 ), we find that the response-retrieval-specific interaction is absent indicating that the separation was successful in preventing response-retrieval. Still, both negative and positive priming are present as main effects which show that processes other than response-retrieval can produce NP. In addition, based on recordings of the eye-movements during task processing, we localize the NP effect in a target-selection process while positive priming manifests in facilitated response-selection. Our results are in line with a multiple-route view of NP.
Canonical finger numeral configurations are named faster than less familiar finger configurations and activate a semantic place-coding representation as symbolic stimuli. However, this does not exclude categorically the possibility that mere visuo-perceptual differences between canonical and noncanonical finger configurations may induce differences in processing speed. This study capitalizes on the fact that, in typical visual-detection tasks, participants focus on low-level visuo-perceptual features to detect a target among distractors sharing the same high-level semantic features, producing the so-called pop-out effect. Participants had to decide whether a canonical finger configuration was present among a set of distractors expressing the same numerosity in a noncanonical way. The results showed that the time needed to detect the presence of the target grew linearly with the number of distractors. This indicates that the canonical target enjoyed no perceptual saliency among the noncanonical configurations (i.e., no pop-out effect) excluding visuo-perceptual differences as the source of the better identification of and semantic access of canonical configurations.
Many models of word recognition predict a lexical ambiguity disadvantage in semantic categorization tasks (SCTs). However, recent evidence suggests that an ambiguity disadvantage in SCT results from a bias in the decision-making phase of the task and not in the meaning-activation phase: Behavioral effects of ambiguity disappear when these decision biases are controlled (Pexman, Hino, & Lupker, 2004). The current study used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the neural correlates of ambiguity in a task that produced no behavioral ambiguity effect (i.e., SCT with a well-defined decision category). Twenty healthy adults participated. Results showed that despite producing no behavioral effect of ambiguity, ambiguous words were associated with the recruitment of cortical structures implicated in top-down modulation of noisy activity (e.g., left inferior frontal gyrus) when compared to unambiguous words. These results are interpreted as evidence that multiple meanings are activated for ambiguous words in SCT.
In a market entry game, the number of entrants usually approaches game-theoretic equilibrium quickly, but in real-world markets business start-ups typically exceed market capacity, resulting in chronically high failure rates and suboptimal industry profits. Excessive entry has been attributed to overconfidence arising when expected payoffs depend partly on skill. In an experimental test of this hypothesis, 96 participants played 24 rounds of a market entry game, with expected payoffs dependent partly on skill on half the rounds, after their confidence was manipulated and measured. The results provide direct support for the hypothesis that high levels of confidence are largely responsible for excessive entry, and they suggest that absolute confidence, independent of interpersonal comparison, rather than confidence about one's abilities relative to others, drives excessive entry decisions when skill is involved.
The Stroop task has been employed to study automaticity or failures of selective attention for many years. The effect is known to be asymmetrical, with words affecting color naming but not vice versa. In the current work two auditory-visual Stroop-like tasks were devised in order to study the automaticity of pitch processing in both absolute pitch (AP) possessors and musically trained controls without AP (nAP). In the tone naming task, participants were asked to name the auditory tone while ignoring a visual note name. In the note naming task, participants were asked to read a note name while ignoring the auditory tone. The nAP group showed a significant congruency effect only in the tone naming task, whereas AP possessors showed the reverse pattern, with a significant congruency effect only in the note reading task. Thus, AP possessors were unable to ignore the auditory tone when asked to read the note, but were unaffected by the verbal note name when asked to label the auditory tone. The results suggest that pitch identification in participants endowed with AP ability is automatic and impossible to suppress.
Different theories have been proposed regarding the nature of the mental representations formed as a result of implicit learning of sequential regularities. Some theories postulate abstract surface-independent representations, while other theories postulate stimulus-specific representations. This article reports three experiments investigating the development of abstract representations in artificial grammar learning (AGL), using a methodological approach developed by Conway and Christiansen (2006). In all the experiments, the number of blocks during the exposure phase was manipulated (6 blocks vs. 18 blocks of exposure to sequences). Experiments 1 and 2 investigated both visual and auditory learning where sequences were presented element-by-element. Experiment 3 investigated visual learning using a sequence-by-sequence presentation technique more commonly used in visual AGL studies. Extending previous research (Conway & Christiansen, 2006) and in support of stimulus-specific accounts, the results of the experiments showed that extended observational learning results in increased stimulus-specific knowledge rather than abstraction towards surface-independent representations.
Processing strategies in risk assessment were studied in an Internet experiment. Women (N = 399) who were either low or high in rape myth acceptance (RMA) were asked to recall either two or six behaviors that either increase or decrease the risk of being sexually assaulted. Later they judged their personal vulnerability to sexual assault under either no time pressure (no response deadline) or time pressure (response deadline of 5 s). Without time pressure, the results were opposite to previous research: Women low in RMA relied on ease of recall and reported higher vulnerability after recalling few rather than many risk increasing behaviors, or many rather than few risk-decreasing behaviors; women high in RMA relied on the amount of information recalled, which resulted in an opposite pattern of vulnerability judgments. No influences of ease of recall or amount recalled on vulnerability judgments were detected under time pressure.
The experiments discussed here are aimed at determining whether risk perception and risk acceptance are two distinct psychological processes. This study is motivated by the idea of a double-criterion model of choice. In particular, in line with risk-value (R-V) models, in which risk is treated as a primitive, it is tested whether risk is independent of aspirations and whether preferences depend on aspirations. In two experiments, 305 university students were presented with pairs of risky projects and were asked to compare their riskiness and select one. The aspiration level, defined as the target return on the project, was set through an explicit instruction. In Experiment 1, a within-subject designwas applied, and thus aspirations were set at two different levels. In Experiment 2, with a between-subject design, two different aspiration levels were set for each group. The results indicate that risk ordering is insensitive to changes in aspirations, but preferences are sensitive to those changes. This supports distinctness of risk perception and risk acceptance. The findings are discussed in terms of the CPT and SP/A models and the R-V approach. It appears that double-criterion models provide better and psychologically sounder predictions of subjects' preferences.
In two experiments participants held in working memory (WM) three digits in three different colors, and updated individual digits with the results of arithmetic equations presented in one of the colors. In the memory-access condition, a digit from WM had to be used as the ﬁrst
number in the equation; in the no-access condition, complete equations were presented so that no information from WM had to be accessed for the computation. Updating a digit not updated in the preceding step took longer than updating the same digit as in the preceding step, a time
difference referred to as object-switch costs. Object-switch costs were equal in access and no-access equations, implying that they did not reﬂect the time to retrieve a new digit from WM. Access equations were completed as fast as no-access equations, implying that access to information in WM is as fast as reading the same information. No-access equations were slowed by a mismatch between the ﬁrst digit of the presented equation and the to-be-updated digit in WM, showing that this digit is automatically accessed even when not needed. It is concluded that contents and their
contexts form composites in WM that are necessarily accessed together.
A picture naming experiment in Dutch tested whether disfluencies in speech can arise from difficulties in lexical access. Speakers described networks consisting of line drawings and paths connecting these drawings, and we manipulated picture name agreement. Consistent with our hypothesis, there were more pauses and more self-corrections in the low name agreement condition than the high name agreement condition, but there was no effect on repetitions. We also considered determiner frequency. There were more self-corrections and more repetitions when the picture name required the less frequent (neuter-gender) determiner "het" than the more frequent (common-gender) determiner "de". These data suggest that difficulties in distinct stages of language production result in distinct patterns of disfluencies.
The revised hierarchical model of bilingualism (e.g., Kroll & Stewart, 1994) assumes that second language (L2) words primarily access semantics through their first language (L1) translation equivalents. Consequently, backward translation from L2 to L1 should not imply semantic access but occurs through lexical wordform associations. However, recent research with Dutch-French bilinguals showed that both backward and forward translation of number words yields a semantic number magnitude effect (Duyck & Brysbaert, 2004), providing evidence for strong form-to-meaning mappings of L2 number words. In two number-word translation experiments with Dutch-English-German trilinguals, the present study investigated whether semantic access in L1-L2 and L1-L3 number-word translation depends on lexical similarity of the languages involved. We found that backward translation from these more similar language pairs to L1 still yields a semantic magnitude effect, whereas forward translation does not, in contrast with the Dutch-French results of Duyck and Brysbaert (2004). We argue against a dual route model of word translation and suggest that the degree of semantic activation in translation depends on lexical form overlap between translation equivalents.
Recent research on visual short-term memory (VSTM) has revealed the existence of a bilateral field advantage (BFA - i.e., better memory when the items are distributed in the two visual fields than if they are presented in the same hemifield) for spatial location and bar orientation, but not for color ( Delvenne, 2005 ; Umemoto, Drew, Ester, & Awh, 2010 ). Here, we investigated whether a BFA in VSTM is constrained by attentional selective processes. It has indeed been previously suggested that the BFA may be a general feature of selective attention ( Alvarez & Cavanagh, 2005 ; Delvenne, 2005 ). Therefore, the present study examined whether VSTM for color benefits from bilateral presentation if attentional selective processes are particularly engaged. Participants completed a color change detection task whereby target stimuli were presented either across both hemifields or within one single hemifield. In order to engage attentional selective processes, some trials contained irrelevant stimuli that needed to be ignored. Targets were selected based on spatial locations (Experiment 1) or on a salient feature (Experiment 2). In both cases, the results revealed a BFA only when irrelevant stimuli were presented among the targets. Overall, the findings strongly suggest that attentional selective processes at encoding can constrain whether a BFA is observed in VSTM.
Procedural justice concerns play a critical role in economic settings, politics, and other domains of human life. Despite the vast evidence corroborating their relevance, considerably less is known about how procedural justice judgments are formed. Whereas earlier theorizing focused on the systematic integration of content information, the present contribution provides a new perspective on the formation of justice judgments by examining the influence of accessibility experiences. Specifically, we hypothesize that procedural justice judgments may be formed based on the ease or difficulty with which justice-relevant information comes to mind. Three experiments corroborate this prediction in that procedures were evaluated less positively when the retrieval of associated unfair aspects was easy compared to difficult. Presumably this is because when it feels easy (difficult) to retrieve unfair aspects, these are perceived as frequent (infrequent), and hence the procedure as unjust (just). In addition to demonstrating that ease-of-retrieval may influence justice judgments, the studies further revealed that reliance on accessibility experiences is high in conditions of personal certainty. We suggest that this is because personal uncertainty fosters systematic processing of content information, whereas personal certainty may invite less taxing judgmental strategies such as reliance on ease-of-retrieval.
To understand the relation between the Simon effect and the time course of relevant and irrelevant code activations, we presented the response signal before or simultaneously with a go/no-go signal in an accessory Simon task. A peripheral accessory signal could appear before, simultaneously with or after the go/no-go signal. We observed a Simon effect when the accessory signal was presented just before or simultaneously with the go signal, irrespective of the delay between response and go/no-go signal. The Simon effect reversed when the accessory signal was presented 150 ms after the go signal when response information was presented first and the participants had to make a go/no-go decision afterwards or when they had to select a response when the go signal appeared. The reversal did not occur when both decisions were required at the same time. Our data suggest that the integration and release of event files are involved in the occurrence of the reversal. Response activation induced by the accessory stimulus facilitates/interferes with the response when it is presented before the event file is integrated. When the accessory stimulus is presented after integration, the automatically activated response is inhibited, causing a delay in the corresponding reaction times.
Both the Stroop and the Simon paradigms are often used in research on cognitive control, however, there is evidence that dissociable control processes are involved in these tasks: While conflicts in the Stroop task may be resolved mainly by enhanced task-relevant stimulus processing, conflicts in the Simon task may be resolved rather by suppressing the influence of task-irrelevant information on response selection. In the present study, we show that these control mechanisms interact in different ways with the presentation of accessory stimuli. Accessory stimuli do not affect cognitive control in the Simon task, but they impair the efficiency of cross-trial control processes in the Stroop task. Our findings underline the importance of differentiating between different types of conflicts and mechanisms of cognitive control.
Accessory signals that precede stimuli in interference tasks lead to faster overall responses while conflict increases. Two opposing accounts exist for the latter finding: one is based on dual-route frameworks of response preparation and proposes amplification of both direct response activation and indirect response selection processes; the other refers to attentional networks and suggests inhibition of executive attention, thereby hampering conflict control. The present study replicated previous behavioral findings in a Simon task and extended them by electrophysiological evidence. Accessory tones facilitated stimulus classification and attentional allocation in the Simon task as reflected by an increased N1 amplitude and an overall decrease of the N2 amplitude, respectively. The conflict-related N2 amplitude, which is larger in conflict trials compared with nonconflict trials, was not modulated by accessory tones. Moreover, accessory tones did not affect sequence-dependent conflict adaptation. In terms of a dual-route framework present results suggest amplification of both response preparation routes by accessory stimuli. An executive attention approach proposing accessory stimuli to hamper control of conflict is not supported.
A sentence-priming technique was used to examine whether older women (N = 39) share a more positive view of aging than younger women (N = 35). Situationally specified statements about older and younger persons were presented, followed either by a semantically related word, an unrelated word of the same valence, or a nonword. The accessibility of target words was measured by reaction times in a lexical decision task. Whereas a semantic priming effect for negatively connoted materials emerged for both groups, a priming effect for positively connoted materials was found for older women only. Furthermore, an affective priming effect was found for the older group, i.e., older women tended to respond relatively faster (slower) to semantically unrelated positive (negative) words following a sentence about an older person. The results are discussed within a coping-theoretical framework.
Does the naming of clocks always require conceptual preparation? To examine this question, speakers were presented with analog and digital clocks that had to be named in Dutch using either a relative (e.g., "quarter to four") or an absolute (e.g., "three forty-five") clock time expression format. Naming latencies showed evidence of conceptual preparation when speakers produced relative time expressions to analog and digital clocks, but not when they used absolute time expressions. These findings indicate that conceptual mediation is not always mandatory for telling time, but instead depends on clock time expression format, supporting a multiple-route account of Dutch clock time naming.