Alan Garnham

Alan Garnham
University of Sussex · School of Psychology

BA University of Oxford, PPP; DPhil, University of Sussex, Experimental Psychology

About

148
Publications
41,484
Reads
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4,368
Citations
Introduction
I'm interested in basic processes in text comprehension, particularly inference and anaphora.
Additional affiliations
September 1985 - present
University of Sussex
Education
September 1979 - August 1980
University of Texas at Austin
Field of study
  • Cognitive Science
October 1977 - March 1981
University of Sussex
Field of study
  • Experimental Psychology
October 1974 - June 1977
University of Oxford
Field of study
  • Psychology and Philosophy

Publications

Publications (148)
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Overcoming gender occupational stereotypes is a major educational objective in removing barriers to children's future career ambitions and employment aspirations. Yet, the mechanisms that underlie the development of occupational stereotypes in school-age children remain unclear. This questionnaire study investigates the developmental relationship b...
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Existing evidence suggests that children from around the age of 8 years strategically alter their public image in accordance with known values and preferences of peers, through the self-descriptive information they convey. However, an important but neglected aspect of this ‘self-presentation’ is the medium through which such information is communic...
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The adult voice is a strong bio-social marker for masculinity and femininity. In this study we investigated whether children make gender stereotypical judgments about adults’ occupational competence on the basis of their voice. Forty-eight 8- to 10- year olds were asked to rate the competence of adult voices that varied in vocal masculinity (by art...
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This study provides implicit verb consequentiality norms for a corpus of 305 English verbs, for which Ferstl et al. ( Behavior Research Methods, 43, 124-135, 2011) previously provided implicit causality norms. An online sentence completion study was conducted, with data analyzed from 124 respondents who completed fragments such as “John liked Mary...
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Two visual world eye-tracking experiments investigated anticipatory looks to implicit causes and implicit consequences in two clause sentences with mental state verbs (Stimulus-Experiencer and Experiencer-Stimulus) in the first main clause, and an explicit cause or consequence in the second. The first experiment showed that, just as when all contin...
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In this study, we explored the use of variation in sex-related cues of the voice to investigate implicit occupational stereotyping in children. Eighty-two children between the ages of 5 and 10 years took part in an imitation task in which they were provided with descriptions of nine occupations (three traditionally male, three traditionally female,...
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This article provides commentary on the four main papers in the special issue.
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An eye-tracking study explored perspective effects on eye-movements during reading. We presented texts that included either a personal perspective ( you) or an onlooker perspective (he or she). We measured whether fixations on the pronouns themselves differed as a function of perspective, and whether fixations on pronouns were affected by the emoti...
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Low frequency components (i.e. a low pitch (F0) and low formant spacing (ΔF)) signal high salivary testosterone and height in adult male voices and are associated with high masculinity attributions by unfamiliar listeners (in both men and women). However, the relation between the physiological, acoustic and perceptual dimensions of speakers' mascul...
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Psycholinguistic investigations of the way readers and speakers perceive gender have shown several biases associated with how gender is linguistically realized in language. Although such variations across languages offer interesting grounds for legitimate cross-linguistic comparisons, pertinent characteristics of grammatical systems – especially in...
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Pre-pubertal boys and girls speak with acoustically different voices despite the absence of a clear anatomical dimorphism in the vocal apparatus, suggesting that a strong component of the expression of gender through the voice is behavioural. Initial evidence for this hypothesis was found in a previous study showing that they can alter their voice...
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The goal of this study is to better understand when (and why) the combination of semantic overlap between antecedent and anaphor and antecedent focus leads to difficulty in anaphor processing. To investigate these questions, three ERP experiments manipulating semantic overlap and focus compared the ERPs from the onset of the anaphor as well as from...
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Two experiments were conducted to explore whether perspective influences the way readers engage with and process emotional information while reading. Texts presenting characters in an emotional situation from either a personal or an onlooker perspective were presented and reading times were measured for each sentence. Participants also provided emo...
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Two experiments are reported in which people resolve references to sets of entities (e.g., lies) that have previously been introduced either explicitly into a text (“the lies”) or implicitly via a cognate verb (a form of the verb “to lie”). Previous work has show that pronominal references to such entities were judged as relatively unacceptable and...
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We present a Focused Review on work that was conducted to compare perceived distributions of men and women in occupations and other social roles with actual real world distributions. In previous work, we showed that means for the two sources were similar and the correlation between them was high. However, in the present paper, although we argue tha...
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We recorded Event-Related Potentials to investigate differences in the use of gender information during the processing of reflexive pronouns. Pronouns either matched the gender provided by role nouns (such as “king” or “engineer”) or did not. We compared two types of gender information, definitional information, which is semantic in nature (a mothe...
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Previous research, for example in English, French, German, and Spanish, has investigated the interplay between grammatical gender information and stereotype gender information (e.g., that secretaries are usually female, in many cultures), in the interpretation of both singular noun phrases (the secretary) and plural nouns phrases, particularly so-c...
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The present research investigated the use of counter-stereotypical pictures as a strategy for overcoming spontaneous gender stereotypes when certain social role nouns and professional terms are read. Across two experiments, participants completed a judgment task in which they were presented with word pairs comprised of a role noun with a stereotypi...
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We present a study comparing, in English, perceived distributions of men and women in 422 named occupations with actual real world distributions. The first set of data was obtained from previous a large-scale norming study, whereas the second set was mostly drawn from UK governmental sources. In total, real world ratios for 290 occupations were obt...
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Across two experiments the present research examined the use of social consensus feedback as a strategy for overcoming spontaneous gender stereotyping when certain social role nouns and professional terms are read. Participants were presented with word pairs comprising a role noun (e.g., surgeon) and a kinship term (e.g., mother) and asked to decid...
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We collected norms on the gender stereotypicality of an extensive list of role nouns in Czech, English, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, and Slovak, to be used as a basis for the selection of stimulus materials in future studies. We present a Web-based tool (available at https://www.unifr.ch/lcg/ ) that we developed to collect these norms and th...
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Originally published in 1985, this title was an important new teaching text at the time. Alan Garnham focuses on current theories about the central cognitive aspects of language understanding, and attempts to reflect the emergence of cognitive science, an inter-disciplinary approach to the study of language and other cognitive processes. As well as...
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Theories of embodied cognition (e.g., Perceptual Symbol Systems Theory; Barsalou, 1999, 2009) suggest that modality specific simulations underlie the representation of concepts. Supporting evidence comes from modality switch costs: participants are slower to verify a property in one modality (e.g., auditory, BLENDER-loud) after verifying a property...
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Gygax, Gabriel, Sarrasin, Oakhill, and Garnham (2008) showed that readers form a mental representation of gender that is based on grammatical gender in French and German (i.e., masculine supposedly interpretable as a generic form) but is based on stereotypical information in English. In this study, a modification of their stimulus material was used...
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Working memory predicts children's reading comprehension but it is not clear whether this relation is due to a modality-specific or general working memory. This study, which investigated the relations between children's reading skills and working memory (WM) abilities in 3 modalities, extends previous work by including measures of both reading comp...
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Experiments using memory paradigms have shown that general terms receive context-dependent encodings. The results of these experiments can only provide indirect evidence about representations set up at the time of presentation. Those studies which have concerned themselves with on-line processing of general terms have produced only equivocal result...
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In an event related potential (ERP) experiment using written language materials only, we investigated a potential modulation of the N400 by the modality switch effect. The modality switch effect occurs when a first sentence, describing a fact grounded in one modality, is followed by a second sentence describing a second fact grounded in a different...
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Three experiments examined the hypothesis that the demonstrative noun phrase (NP) that N, as an anadeictic expression, preferentially refers to the less salient referent in a discourse representation when used anaphorically, whereas the anaphoric pronoun he or she preferentially refers to the highly-focused referent. The findings, from a sentence c...
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Language from within is a large and ambitious work. In nearly 800 pages of text, Pieter Seuren covers a broad range of topics in syntax, semantics, and pragmatics, from both contemporary and historical perspectives. Many of the topics are familiar from S's extensive previous writings, but they are brought together here in what is intended to be a s...
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This article discusses models of discourse processing, primarily from a psycholinguistic perspective, though considerations from the other cognitive sciences are mentioned where appropriate. It also touches on issues of discourse representation, because questions about representation and questions about process are closely intertwined. The origins...
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This study provides implicit verb causality norms for a corpus of 305 English verbs. A web-based sentence completion study was conducted, with 96 respondents completing fragments such as "John liked Mary because..." The resulting bias scores are provided as supplementary material in the Psychonomic Society Archive, where we also present lexical and...
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Two experiments investigated the interpretation of anaphoric noun phrases, and in particular those thatcould only be linked to their antecedents via knowledge-based inferences. The first experiment showed that much of the inferential processing was carried out as the anaphoric noun phrase was read, although there was some indication that inferentia...
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This paper argues that emotional inferences about characters in a text are not as specific as previously assumed (DeVega, Diaz, & Leon, 1997; DeVega, Leon, & Diaz 1996; Gernsbacher, Goldsmith, & Robertson, 1992; Gernsbacher, Hollada, & Robertson, 1998; Gernsbacher & Robertson, 1992). The emotional information inferred by readers does not differenti...
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The degree of semantic similarity between an anaphoric noun phrase (e.g., the bird) and its antecedent (e.g., a robin) is known to affect the anaphor resolution process, but the mechanisms that underlie this effect are not known. One proposal (Almor, 1999) is that semantic similarity triggers interference effects in working memory and makes two cru...
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In this paper we argue that the generic use of the masculine represents a grammatical rule that might be easy to learn but difficult to apply when understanding texts. This argument is substantiated by reviewing the relevant literature as well as the recent work conducted by the GREL Group (Gender Representation in Language) on the interaction betw...
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The influence of stereotype and grammatical information (masculine intended as generic) on the representation of gender in language was investigated using a sentence evaluation paradigm. The first sentence introduced a role name (e.g., The spies came out …) and the second sentence contained explicit information about the gender of one or more of th...
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A list of role names for future use in research on gender stereotyping was created and evaluated. In two studies, 126 role names were rated with reference to their gender stereotypicality by English-, French-, and German-speaking students of universities in Switzerland (French and German) and in the U.K. (English). Role names were either presented...
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This chapter presents a new model of coreferential noun phrase anaphora processing, JANUS, within the mental models framework. It summarizes previous research on NP anaphora that is most pertinent to JANUS, and outlines two previous attempts to provide an integrated theory of NP anaphora: Centering Theory and Almor's Informational Load Hypothesis....
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Our objectives in this article are to bring some theoretical order into developmental sequences and simultaneities in children's ability to appreciate multiple labels for single objects, to reason with identity statements, to reason hypothetically, counterfactually, and with beliefs and desires, and to explain why an 'implicit' understanding of bel...
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Reading-time experiments on anaphor resolution have produced conflicting results. Some studies have been taken to support a schema-based theory of text comprehension, which claims that the ease of interpreting an anaphor depends on the schemata that are currently activated. Other studies suggest that more specific factors, such as the amount of new...
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L'A. montre comment la position de J. Fodor et Z. Pylyshyn peut etre sauvee de l'argument de M. Oaksford et N. Charter contre la possibilite d'une science cognitive logiciste, qui repose sur une mauvaise interpretation du terme heuristique dans la litterature AI concernant le raisonnement non-monotonique, et sur la confusion des questions traitant...
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The primary functional role of conversational hand gestures in narrative discourse is disputed. A novel experimental technique investigated whether gestures function primarily to aid speech production by the speaker, or communication to the listener. The experiment involved repeated narration of a cartoon story or stories to a single or multiple li...
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Alan Garnham is Professor of Experimental Psychology at the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK. After studying psychology, philosophy, and physiology (P.P.P.) at the University of Oxford, he studied for his D.Phil., on mental models in text comprehension, with Phil Johnson-Laird at the University of Sussex. After graduating, he remained at Sussex a...
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Development in the early part of the nineteenth century is pertinent to the discipline of psycholinguistics, with detailed case studies appearing of psychological deficits of various kinds. Just as psychology as a science is traditionally traced to the founding of Wundt's laboratory in Leipzig, modern (largely Anglo-Saxon) psycholinguistics has its...
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Stewart, Pickering, and Sanford (1998) reported a new type of semantic inference, implicit consequentiality, which they suggest is comparable to, although not directly related to, the well-documented phenomenon of implicit causality. It is our contention that there is a direct relation between these two semantic phenomena but that this relation can...
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Two experiments investigated whether the stereotypical gender of a character is encoded immediately into the discourse representation and influences later comprehension. In Experiment 1 people read, and were confused by, a short story in which an incongruity arises at the end if the gender of a character introduced by a social role name has been in...
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Previous work has shown that category noun-phrase anaphors (e.g., bird) are read faster when they refer to typical antecedents (e.g., robin) compared to atypical ones (e.g., goose) (Garrod & Sanford, 1977). However, when the antecedent is in a syntactic cleft, there is an inverse effect of typicality (Almor, 1999). We further examined this inverse...
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This article reports six experiments in which we explored whether gender stereotype information is typically invoked when certain role and profession terms are read and the extent to which the use of such information is under the reader's strategic control. All of the experiments used a design in which subjects had to decide whether two terms (one...
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There is disagreement within both linguistics and psycholinguistics concerning the use of unaccented third person pronouns to refer to implicit referents. Some researchers (e.g., Erkü & Gundel, 1987) argue that it is impossible or highly marked, while others (e.g., Yule, 1982) maintain that it is not only acceptable but commonly used in normal disc...
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K. C. Klauer and J. Musch (see record 2005-02750-010) present two main conclusions at the end of their reply to A. Garnham and J. V. Oakhill (see record 2005-02750-009): (1) "modified mental model theories . . . can account for all of our data; one of them was in fact proposed by ourselves" (p. 520); and (2) "the multinomial model is not a process...
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K. C. Klauer, J. Musch, and B. Naumer (2000; see record 2000-02818-008) presented a general multinomial model of belief bias effects in syllogistic reasoning. They claimed to map a particular mental model account of belief bias (J. V. Oakhill, P. N. Johnson-Laird, & A. Garnham, 1989; see record 1989-38845-001)) onto this model and to show empirical...
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Gygax, Oakhill and Garnham (2003) showed that, contrary to the assumption of earlier research, readers do not infer specific emotions such as guilt or boredom. This paper presents evidence for the non-specificity of emotional inferences regardless of the nature of the stories. In Experiment 1 and 2, Gygax et al.’s stories were made longer. In Exper...
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In sentences such as Sam borrowed a jigsaw puzzle, and he did it while everyone else was out, the "do it" expression can take its meaning from the entire preceding verb phrase (= borrowed the jigsaw puzzle) or from just the noun phrase (= did the jigsaw puzzle). We examine how the choice of verbal or nominal interpretation is influenced by changes...
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Two experiments examined syntax and semantics as correlates of theory-of-mind (ToM). In Experiment 1 children’s language was examined at 3 years of age in relation to ToM at 3, 3.5, 4, and 5.5 years. Semantics predicted unique variance in later belief understanding but not desire understanding. Syntax did not explain unique variance in belief or de...
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Two experiments provided evidence that gender stereotype inferences from role names--for example, that a surgeon is (probably) male--are made in a forward, elaborative, direction. We used sentences in which a person's gender was never made explicit, but was implied in two different ways. The two ways were by the use of a role name, and by mentionin...
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Doherty and Perner (Metalinguistic awareness and theory of mind: just two words for the same thing? Cognitive Development, 13 (1998), 279–305) report that children’s understanding of synonyms and false belief is dependent on an understanding of the representational mind. Experiment 1 extends this finding by examining children’s understanding of hom...
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Questions about mental models can be divided into questions about form and questions about content. This chapter focuses on questions on content. Therefore, specific questions on what information people extract from text during text comprehension and what processes they use to extract that information are of central interest. The mental models are...
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According to one version of the mental models theory (Oakhill, J.V., Johnson-Laird, P.N., Garnham, A., 1989. Believability and syllogistic reasoning. Cognition 31, 117-140) beliefs exert their influence on reasoning in three ways. First they can affect the interpretation of the premises, for example by conversion. Second, they can curtail the searc...
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The debate surrounding the use of extra-sentential context to inform early parsing decisions has focused primarily on the class of syntactic ambiguity to which Minimal Attachment (Frazier, 1979) applies. The present paper extends the debate to Late Closure (Frazier, 1979). We argue that Crain and Steedman's (1985) Principle of Parsimony predicts a...
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Elliptical verb phrases must be interpreted indirectly, using a representation of the surface form of nearby (usually preceding) text. We used this fact to demonstrate the different availability of superficial representations of the two clauses in main-subordinate pairs. The acceptability of a later ellipsis was reduced when it took its meaning fro...
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Four experiments were carried out to investigate how general knowledge about the stereotypical gender of participants in a text influences comprehension. A self-paced reading task was used to present short texts comprising one, two, or three sentences. The first sentence of each text introduced a stereotypically masculine or feminine participant (e...
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Implicit causality might enable readers to focus on the imputed cause of an event, and make it the default referent of a following pronoun. Alternatively, its effects might only arise when a following explicit cause is integrated with a description of the event. In three probe recognition experiments, in which the participants in the events were of...
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Three experiments, in Spanish and French, examined the interpretation of pronouns which, on the basis of their form, were either referentially determinate or referentially indeterminate. Because Spanish and French nouns referring to objects have arbitrary grammatical genders, we were able to compare cases in which referential determinacy might be s...
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In 1992, D. C. Mitchell, M. M. B. Corley, and A. Garnham presented new evidence to suggest that contextual information does not influence the parser's initial decisions. They suggested, however, that if sufficient material separates the choice point from the point of syntactic disambiguation, the processor may have sufficient time to revoke an init...
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Traducción de: Thinking and reasoning Incluye bibliografía e índice