David Washburn

David Washburn
Covenant College · Psychology

Ph.D.

About

221
Publications
16,033
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
5,110
Citations
Introduction
Cognition (attention, learning, memory, executive function) across species and development; history of psychology; prayer and psych of Religion

Publications

Publications (221)
Article
Full-text available
Determining when to switch from one strategy to another is at the heart of adaptive decision-making. Previous research shows that humans exhibit a ‘cognitive set’ bias, which occurs when a familiar strategy occludes—even much better—alternatives. Here we examined the mechanisms underlying cognitive set by investigating whether better solutions are...
Article
There is ample evidence that humans and nonhuman animals can learn complex statistical regularities presented within various types of input. However, humans outperform their nonhuman primate counterparts when it comes to recognizing relationships that exist across one or several intervening stimuli (nonadjacent dependencies). This is especially tru...
Article
This present study was designed to investigate whether face‐type (stereotypical or nonstereotypical) facilitates stereotype‐consistent categorization and decision‐making. Previous literature suggests an associative link between adults' stereotypically Black facial features and assumed criminality. The question addressed here is whether the cognitiv...
Article
Probabilistic categorization tasks present the learner with a set of possible responses and imperfect cue evidence of which response will be rewarded. A single, optimal integration of all available cues into an optimal response is possible given any set of evidence. In contrast, there are many possible uses of the cues that offer the learner subopt...
Article
The history of psychology is fascinating, and replete with important content for students to learn. The scholars and events that highlight the history of comparative psychology is no less compelling. However, there are many challenges in teaching the field’s history in a way that is engaging, inclusive, and comprehensive. One strategy for addressin...
Article
Research has implicated biased attention allocation toward emotional cues as a proximal mechanism in the association between trait disinhibition and physical aggression. The current study tested this putative cognitive mechanism by incentivizing a shift of attention from a provoking stimulus to a neutral stimulus during a laboratory aggression para...
Article
The Monty Hall Dilemma (MHD) is a simple probability puzzle famous for its counterintuitive solution. Participants initially choose among three doors, one of which conceals a prize. A different door is opened and shown not to contain the prize. Participants are then asked whether they would like to stay with their original choice or switch to the o...
Article
Full-text available
Through codified rule-use, humans can accurately solve many problems. Yet, mechanized strategies can also be costly. After adopting a solution strategy, humans often become blind to alternatives, even when those alternatives are more efficient. Termed cognitive set, this failure to switch from a familiar strategy to a better alternative has been co...
Preprint
Through codified rule-use humans can accurately solve many problems. Yet, mechanized strategies can also be costly. After adopting a solution strategy, humans often become blind to alternatives, even when those alternatives are more efficient. Termed cognitive set, this failure to switch from a familiar strategy to a better alternative has been con...
Article
Presents an obituary of Duane M. Rumbaugh (1929–2017). Rumbaugh was an experimental psychologist known for his many contributions toward understanding primate learning and behavior. His ape-language research with Lana and other chimpanzees, comparative studies of quantitative and qualitative hallmarks of primate intelligence, and numerous methodolo...
Article
Executive functions (EF) have been studied extensively in children and adults. However, EF tasks for young children can be difficult to administer and interpret. Espy (1997, Developmental Neuropsychology, 13, 495–499) designed the Shape School task to measure inhibition and switching in preschool-aged children. Shape School presents cartoon-like ch...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of the present study was to examine whether rhesus monkeys remember information about their own agency—along with spatial, temporal and contextual properties—from a previously experienced event. In Experiment 1, rhesus monkeys (n = 4) used symbols to reliably indicate whether they had performed or observed an event on a computer screen....
Article
Thirteen naïve capuchin monkeys (Cebus [Sapajus] apella) were manually tested with the Transfer Index procedure, a species-fair paradigm for assessing the capacity to learn and to transfer learning. The animals were then trained to manipulate a joystick to control a cursor and to respond to stimuli on a computer screen. After the animals had master...
Article
Innovations in apparatus technology come about for a variety of reasons such as the need to use the same methodology with various species, the opportunity to present dynamic and carefully controlled stimuli, the goal of using automation to make data collection more precise or efficient, and the need to control for and/or eliminate the presence of e...
Chapter
Though the study of animal personality has experienced explosive growth in the last 20 years, its history can be traced to the early days of comparative psychology. Early descriptions of nonhuman animals as sociable or fearful and the like have been progressively replaced across the years with systematic coding of behavioral patterns across multipl...
Article
Two experiments were used to measure the effects of prayer, contemplation or a control activity on attention resource capacity and attention bias. Results from a dual-task test in Experiment 1 indicated that allowing participants to pray about an issue in their lives improved subsequent task performance, but only for individuals who score highly on...
Article
Full-text available
A growing body of data indicates that, compared to humans, rhesus monkeys perform poorly on tasks that assess executive attention, or voluntary control over selection for processing, particularly under circumstances in which attention is attracted elsewhere by competing stimulus control. In the human-cognition literature, there are hotly active deb...
Article
Primate Cognition is the study of cognitive processes, which represent internal mental processes involved in discriminations, decisions, and behaviors of humans and other primate species. Cognitive control involves executive and regulatory processes that allocate attention, manipulate and evaluate available information (and, when necessary, seek ad...
Article
For more than 80 years, researchers have examined the interference between automatic processing of stimuli, such as the meaning of color words, on performance of a controlled-processing task such as naming the color in which words are printed. The Stroop effect and its many variations provide an ideal test platform for examining the competition bet...
Article
Full-text available
Three decades ago, the Animal Welfare Act was amended to require researchers to provide environments that promoted the psychological, as well as the physical, wellbeing of nonhuman primates maintained for research purposes. We developed a computer-task paradigm with the goal of promoting and assessing the psychological wellbeing of rhesus monkeys....
Article
The ability to interpret facial expressions of others is one of the more important abilities possessed by humans. However, is it possible for humans to interpret the facial expressions of another species of primate accurately, namely rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta)? We investigated this possibility by taking digital photos of four rhesus monkeys, h...
Chapter
Introduction In this chapter, we will consider the processes whereby stimuli (or stimulus dimensions) are selected for processing so as to produce adaptive responses. The chapter begins with a review of perspectives on the relation between attention and perception, to underscore the importance of understanding attention as part of this broad review...
Article
Full-text available
Comparative cognition is the field of inquiry concerned with understanding the cognitive abilities and mechanisms that are evident in nonhuman species. Assessments of animal cognition have a long history, but in recent years there has been an explosion of new research topics, and a general broadening of the phylogenetic map of animal cognition. To...
Article
Full-text available
Both empirical and anecdotal evidence supports the idea that choice is preferred by humans. Previous research has demonstrated that this preference extends to nonhuman animals, but it remains largely unknown whether animals will actively seek out or prefer opportunities to choose. Here we explored the issue of whether capuchin and rhesus monkeys ch...
Article
Full-text available
William Hopkins and David Washburn pay tribute to a pioneer in primatology and comparative psychology.
Article
By experience in working with various animals and with pathological human subjects, I am convinced of the urgent need of attention to our methods of recording reactions. We, at present, allow the experimenter too great range and place upon him over-great responsibility. As observer, he is liable both to influence the subject in his attempts to get...
Chapter
ion has been a frequent discussion topic since the days of Aristotle and Plato. Constructivist theories often espouse the notion of levels of abstraction. Hiebert and Lefevre (1986, pp. 4-5) put it this way: It is useful to distinguish between two levels at which relationships between pieces of mathematical knowledge can be established. One level w...
Article
Experimental evidence, psychometric evidence, and neuropsychological evidence shows that attention is a multidimensional construct consisting of at least three separable factors: focusing or selectivity, scanning or orienting, and sustaining or alerting. This chapter shows that nonhuman animals, like humans, have produced evidence for all three asp...
Article
Attention was among the first topics of study in psychology. It has been studied with monkeys, apes, pigeons, and other nonhuman animals. The methods used to study animal attention have become more homologous to those used with humans over recent years, particularly with the advent of computer-based test apparatus. Thus, both behavioral and neurops...
Article
One of the dominant research areas in behavioral primatology pertains to assessments of the cognitive capacities of various nonhuman primate species. Experiments in this area have shown that primates have many skills that approximate those found in humans. These tests include both manual and computerized assessments, and often the format in which t...
Article
Full-text available
Monkeys, unlike chimpanzees and humans, have a marked difficulty acquiring relational matching-to-sample (RMTS) tasks that likely reflect the cognitive foundation upon which analogical reasoning rests. In the present study, rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) completed a categorical (identity and nonidentity) RMTS task with differential reward (pellet...
Article
Full-text available
Loss of vigilance may lead to impaired performance in various applied settings including military operations, transportation, and industrial inspection. Individuals differ considerably in sustained attention, but individual differences in vigilance have proven to be hard to predict. The dependence of vigilance on workload factors is consistent with...
Article
Full-text available
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of Margaret Floy Wash-burn's (1908) The Animal Mind: A Text-book of Comparative Psychology, the book is reviewed and compared to contemporary comparative texts. Although considerable advances have been made with respect to topics, methods, and findings, of course, the original text remains remar...