Michael E Young

Michael E Young
Kansas State University | KSU · Department of Psychological Sciences

Ph.D., University of Minnesota

About

134
Publications
159,957
Reads
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2,903
Citations
Introduction
Dr. Young's primary research program involves the study of decision making in dynamic environments. He is currently studying (a) the variables that influence the identification of causes in continuously unfolding environments and (b) the situational and individual variables related to impulsive and risky choice in video game environments.
Additional affiliations
July 2012 - present
Kansas State University
August 2000 - June 2012
August 1995 - July 2000
University of Iowa
Education
August 1990 - August 1995
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Field of study
  • Psychology
August 1988 - July 1990
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Field of study
  • Computer Science
August 1980 - August 1984
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Field of study
  • Computer Science

Publications

Publications (134)
Article
Full-text available
Continua abound in the natural world, but the treatment of these continua in the psychological study of behavior is often categorical. Four practices and their consequences are considered: limited sampling of a continuum, turning continuous predictors into categories through dichotomization and similar practices, treating continuous predictors as c...
Article
Multilevel modeling provides the ability to simultaneously evaluate the discounting of individuals and groups by examining choices between smaller sooner and larger later rewards. A multilevel logistic regression approach is advocated in which sensitivity to relative reward magnitude and relative delay are considered as separate contributors to cho...
Article
Young, Clark, Goffus, and Hoane (Learning and Motivation, 40(2), 160-177, 2009) documented significant advantages of linear and nonlinear mixed-effects modeling in the analysis of Morris water maze data. However, they also noted a caution regarding the impact of the common practice of ending a trial when the rat had not reached the platform by a pr...
Article
Functional analysis can be considered a diagnostic assessment that behavior analysts use to determine behavioral function. Such a diagnosis ultimately requires a yes or no decision (i.e., a variable maintains a behavior, or it does not) that is determined by both subjective (clinical judgement) and objective (data) variables. Accurate and reliable...
Article
Choosing how long to wait in order to optimize reward is a complex decision. We embedded these decisions within a video-game environment in which the amount of reward smoothly increased the longer one waited. The availability of external cues varied in order to determine how they affected the decision to wait to achieve the goal of maximizing the r...
Article
In this study, we examined the effects of pairing sounds with positive and negative outcomes in the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART). A number of published studies using the BART incorporate sounds into the task, where a slot machine or cash register sound is produced when rewards are collected and a popping sound is produced when balloons pop. Ho...
Preprint
Binge eating (BE) is a maladaptive repetitive feeding behavior present across nearly all eating disorder diagnoses. Despite the substantial negative impact of BE on psychological and physiological health, its underlying neural mechanisms are largely unknown. Other repetitive behavior disorders (e.g., obsessive compulsive disorder) show dysfunction...
Article
Full-text available
Accurate metacognitive monitoring improves performance in a variety of naturalistic contexts. However, the laboratory contexts used to study metacognition differ from naturalistic environments in important ways. Specifically, laboratory experiments require learners to make repeated, overt judgments that are thought to reflect underlying metacogniti...
Article
Can nonhuman animals learn abstract concepts? This intriguing question has been extensively studied over the past several decades with many different species and experimental methods. Here, we review evidence showing that pigeons can acquire a same–different concept: they readily learn to discriminate between arrays of same and different items as w...
Article
In the current research, we aimed at extending Silveira et al. (2016) results by verifying whether the long-term maintenance of the equivalence classes is influenced by stimulus valence and MTS training procedures. The delayed and simultaneous MTS were used to train two groups of participants in series of conditional relation trials involving pictu...
Article
Standard approaches for identifying task-completion strategies, such as precrastination and procrastination, reduce behavior to single markers that oversimplify the process of task completion. To illustrate this point, we consider three task-completion strategies and introduce a new method to identify their use. This approach was tested using an ar...
Article
Full-text available
Impulsive choice in humans is typically measured using hypothetical delays and rewards. In two experiments, we determined how experiencing the delay and/or the reward affected impulsive choice behavior. Participants chose between two amounts of real or hypothetical candy (M&Ms) after a real or hypothetical delay (5-30 s), where choosing the shorter...
Article
Recent publications have encouraged researchers to consider how metacognition affects users’ judgments of usability and workload by integrating metacognitive assessments with traditional testing paradigms. However, the repercussions of collecting these measures concurrently are unknown. We used a visual search task to determine how the frequency of...
Article
In this research, two studies were conducted to examine factors influencing reliance on a decision aid in personnel selection. Specifically, this study examined the effect of feedback, validity of selection predictors, and presence of a decision aid on the use of the aid in personnel selection. The results demonstrate that when people are provided...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the relative contributions of central versus peripheral vision in scene-gist recognition with panoramic 180° scenes. Experiment 1 used the window/scotoma paradigm of Larson and Loschky (2009). We replicated their findings that peripheral vision was more important for rapid scene categorization, while central vision was more efficien...
Article
Bayesian approaches to data analysis are considered within the context of behavior analysis. The paper distinguishes between Bayesian inference, the use of Bayes Factors, and Bayesian data analysis using specialized tools. Given the importance of prior beliefs to these approaches, the review addresses those situations in which priors have a big eff...
Article
Cognition and learning have been widely studied in vertebrates, but not across much phylogenetic breadth. Non-avian reptiles, for example, have been poorly studied. Anecdotal observations and a few previous studies suggest that lizards may have strong cognitive skills owing, in part, to behaviors such as optimal foraging and territoriality. We test...
Article
Objective:: We used this experiment to determine the degree to which cues to difficulty are used to make judgments of difficulty (JODs). Background:: Traditional approaches involve seeking to standardize the information people used to evaluate subjective workload; however, it is likely that conscious and unconscious cues underlie peoples' JODs....
Article
We explored the pigeon's representation of the shape of simple three-dimensional objects (geons) rotated in depth (four views each of four geons). Pigeons assigned to the Categorization group had to respond differentially to images of four different geons—termed arch, barrel, brick, and wedge—based on their 3D shape, regardless of the orientation o...
Conference Paper
Background Subjective workload assessments (e.g., NASA-TLX, SWAT, WP) rely upon judgments of difficulty (JODs) and workload to determine how challenging it is for an operator to complete a task. While it is likely that subjective workload assessments are an aggregate product of many cues to difficulty, including internal feelings of effort, that be...
Article
https://rdcu.be/3DRB In the present project, we reexamined the balloon analogue risk task (BART) by evaluating three variations on the task: one that does not require pumping, one that controls for trial duration, and another that withholds feedback on popping until the end of each trial. To accurately assess the censored data produced by the BAR...
Article
Full-text available
Research on escalation of commitment has predominantly been studied in the context of a single decision without consideration for the psychological consequences of escalating. This study sought to examine (a) the extent to which people escalate their commitment to a failing course of action in a sequential decision-making task, (b) confidence and a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Multilevel modeling provides the ability to simultaneously evaluate the discounting of individuals and groups by examining choices between smaller sooner and larger later rewards. A multilevel logistic regression approach is advocated in which sensitivity to relative reward magnitude and relative delay are considered as separate contributors to cho...
Article
Full-text available
The temporal dynamics of waiting are complex. The present study used a video game involving contingencies that produced differential reinforcement of wait times by arranging for the magnitude of the reward to be related to the duration of each inter-response time. In previous research, when outcomes were gradually increasing in value from a minimum...
Chapter
Full-text available
This entry considers reaction time as a measure in animal cognition and behavior experiments. It addresses issues of interpretation, historical use of RTs, design, and analysis.
Article
Multilevel modeling provides the ability to simultaneously evaluate the discounting of individuals and groups using indifference point data. After considering the conditions when weaknesses emerge in estimating individual discounting as a prelude to estimating group discounting, examples are provided that indicate that multilevel modeling improves...
Article
http://rdcu.be/tON9 Despite the ubiquity of go/no-go tasks in the studyof behavioral inhibition, there is a lack of evidence regardingthe impact of key design characteristics, including the go/no-go ratio, intertrial interval, and number of types of go stimuli,on the production of different response classes of central in-terest. In the present stu...
Article
Preference for a larger-variable "risky" option over a smaller-reliable "safe" option often depends upon the likelihood that the risky option will deliver a sufficiently sized reward to have an equivalent or superior expected value. However, preference for the risky option has been shown to increase under conditions where informative stimuli signal...
Article
High temperatures have been documented to affect behavior in a variety of ways depending on the nature of the task. We extended this prior research by examining the effects of dynamically changing temperature on various aspects of performance in a video game task. In the span of approximately an hour, temperature was gradually increased, stayed con...
Article
Full-text available
Behavior analysis has had an uneasy relationship with statistics. A historical reliance on visual inspection has slowly given way to null hypothesis significance testing and quantitative modeling, but this path has been fraught with missteps. There are challenges with reducing variability while also faithfully representing the variability that rema...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research suggests that individuals faced with risky choices seek ways to actively reduce their risks. The risk defusing operators (RDOs) that are identified through these searches can be used to prevent or compensate for (here, pre-and post-event RDOs, respectively) negative outcomes. Although several factors that affect RDO selection have...
Article
From a cognitive linguistics perspective, is assessed the effects of causative constructions on the activity of Broca's area during the processing of visual causal and non-causal events. Lexical causatives (e.g., the orange ball moves the purple ball) describe only direct causal events whereas periphrastic causatives (e.g., the orange ball causes t...
Article
Full-text available
From a cognitive linguistics perspective, we assessed the effects of causative constructions on the activity of Broca’s area during the processing of visual causal and non-causal events. Lexical causatives (e.g., the orange ball moves the purple ball) describe only direct causal events whereas periphrastic causatives (e.g., the orange ball causes t...
Article
Given the rapid technological advances in our society and the increase in artificial and automated advisors with whom we interact on a daily basis, it is becoming increasingly necessary to understand how users interact with and why they choose to request and follow advice from these types of advisors. More specifically, it is necessary to understan...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
There is a growing need to understand how automated decision aids are implemented and relied upon by users. Past research has focused on factors associated with the user and automation technology to explain reliance. The purpose of the present study was determining how the predictability of the environment affects reliance. In this paper, we presen...
Article
Full-text available
In four experiments, we evaluated Lea's (1984) reassignment procedure for studying object representation in pigeons (Experiments 1-3) and humans (Experiment 4). In the initial phase of Experiment 1, pigeons were taught to make discriminative button responses to five views of each of four objects. Using the same set of buttons in the second phase, o...
Article
A first-person-shooter video game was adapted for the study of choice between smaller sooner and larger later outcomes to compare the behavioral patterns produced by deferred gratification (DG) and delay discounting (DD) tasks. Participants played a game in which they could either fire their weapon sooner and do a small amount of damage or wait a f...
Article
Little research has focused on training greater tolerance to delays of rewards in the context of delayed gratification. In delayed gratification, waiting for a delayed outcome necessitates the ability to resist defection for a continuously available smaller, immediate outcome. The present research explored the use of a fading procedure for producin...
Article
In everyday decision making, people often face decisions with outcomes that differ on multiple dimensions. The trade-off in preferences between magnitude, temporal proximity, and probability of an outcome is a fundamental concern in the decision-making literature. Yet, their joint effects on behavior in an experience-based decision-making task are...
Article
Full-text available
Background The present study examined the history effects of exposure to reinforcement that increased in magnitude as a function of time between responses in a first-person shooter video game preparation of the escalating interest task. Results When reinforcement density increased as a function of time, it encouraged participants to wait longer be...
Article
Full-text available
The learning of immediate causation within a dynamic environment was examined. Participants encountered seven decision points in which they needed to choose, which of three possible candidates was the cause of explosions in the environment. Each candidate was firing a weapon at random every few seconds, but only one of them produced an immediate ef...
Article
Full-text available
Using a continuous impulsivity and risk platform (CIRP) that was constructed using a video game engine, choice was assessed under conditions in which waiting produced a continuously increasing probability of an outcome with a continuously decreasing magnitude (Experiment 1) or a continuously increasing magnitude of an outcome with a continuously de...
Article
An n-armed bandit task was used to investigate the trade-off between exploratory (choosing lesser-known options) and exploitive (choosing options with the greatest known probability of reinforcement) human choice in a trial-and-error learning problem. A different probability of reinforcement was assigned to each of eight response options using rand...
Article
Full-text available
We present a new model of transposition behavior that involves 3 predictors: (a) the disparity in generalized associative strength from the previously reinforced and nonreinforced stimuli (g) to the stimuli in the testing pair; (b) relational disparity (r), the difference in the logarithmically scaled sensory values of the testing stimuli; and (c)...
Article
Using a video-game-based escalating interest task, participants repeatedly encountered a reward that gradually increased in value over a 10-second interval. Responding early in the interval netted less immediate reward than responding later in the interval. Each participant experienced four different reward contingencies for waiting. These continge...
Article
Prediction error (i.e., the difference between the expected and the actual event's outcome) mediates adaptive behavior. Activity in the anterior mid-cingulate cortex (aMCC) and in the anterior insula (aINS) is associated with the commission of prediction errors under uncertainty. We propose a dynamic causal model of effective connectivity (i.e., ne...
Article
Full-text available
A first-person shooter video game was adapted for the study of choice between smaller sooner and larger later rewards. Participants chose when to fire a weapon that increased in damage potential over a short interval. When the delay to maximum damage was shorter (5-8 s), people showed greater sensitivity to the consequences of their choices than wh...
Article
The temporal relations among candidate causes were studied in a causal induction task using a design that is known to produce occasion setting in animal learning preparations. For some subset of the observations, one event, the occasion setter, was accompanied by another event, the conditional cause; for another subset of the observations, the cond...
Article
Full-text available
Discriminating same from different multiitem arrays can be represented as a discrimination between arrays involving low variability and arrays involving high variability. In the present investigation, we first trained pigeons with the extreme values along the variability continuum (arrays containing 16 identical items vs. 16 nonidentical items), an...
Article
Full-text available
Continuous causation, in which incremental changes in one variable cause incremental changes in another, has received little attention in the causal judgment literature. A video game was adapted for the study of continuous causality in order to examine the novel cues to causality that are present in these paradigms. The spatial proximity of an obje...
Article
A first-person shooter video game was adapted for the study of choice between smaller sooner and larger later outcomes. Participants chose when to fire a weapon that increased in damage potential over a 10s interval, an escalating interest situation. Across two experiments, participants demonstrated sensitivity to the nature of the mathematical fun...
Article
Full-text available
The choice of stimulus values to test in any experiment is a critical component of good experimental design. This study examines the consequences of random and systematic sampling of data values for the identification of functional relationships in experimental settings. Using Monte Carlo simulation, uniform random sampling was compared with system...
Article
Full-text available
The tension between exploitation of the best options and exploration of alternatives is a ubiquitous problem that all organisms face. To examine this trade-off across species, pigeons and people were trained on an eight-armed bandit task in which the options were rewarded on a variable interval (VI) schedule. At regular intervals, each option's VI...
Article
Full-text available
Individual differences in the effects of stress on causal attribution were studied in the context of a first-person-shooter video game. Participants were tasked with identifying the source of an explosion by repeatedly choosing among three possible enemy targets that were firing their weapons at random. In each trio of possible targets, the true en...
Article
Full-text available
The behavioral literature has reported the differentiation between perceived causality and higher-order causal reasoning. The advent of modern technology such as functional magnetic resonance imaging and the theoretical framework of cognitive linguistics and behavioral experimental designs have raised new hypotheses and opened new possibilities to...
Article
Casual observation suggests that pigeons and other animals can recognize occluded objects; yet, laboratory research has thus far failed to show that pigeons can recognize occluded objects. In a series of experiments with shaded, textured stimuli, we investigated pigeons' ability to recognize occluded objects. After first teaching pigeons to recogni...
Article
We trained pigeons to peck one button in response to arrays comprising 16 identical icons (Same arrays) and a different button to arrays comprising 16 different icons (Different arrays). This task required the pigeons to classify collections of icons in terms of their variability: "low" for Same arrays and "high" for Different arrays. Previous rese...
Article
Full-text available
A video game was adapted to investigate the effect of the number of alternatives on causal judgment in a complex environment involving targets with delayed outcomes. Participants were presented with groups of potential targets. Each target (the candidate cause) fired at random relative to the others, with one target in each group causing a delayed...
Article
We explored the effects of spatial frequency filtering on the visual recognition performance of pigeons. By comparing the effects of spatial frequency filtering across two very different species, we sought to determine the species-generality of prior human studies. In our experiments, pigeons were trained with either fully-shaded representations of...
Article
Full-text available
A first-person shooter video game was adapted for the study of causal decision making within dynamic environments. Participants chose which of three potential targets in each of 21 groups was producing distal explosions. The source of the explosion effect varied in the delay between the firing of its weapon and its effect (0.0, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 s)...
Article
Full-text available
Instrumental response variation is inversely related to reward probability. Gharib, Derby, and Roberts (2001) theorized that individuals behave more variably when their expectation of reward is low. They postulate that this behavioral rule assists the discovery of alternative actions when a target response is unlikely to be reinforced. This suggest...
Article
We trained pigeons to recognize shaded unoccluded objects. After that, pigeons were tested with partially occluded objects; with objects placed on top of occluder; with partially erased objects; or with objects that has a thin gap inserted between object and occluder. Recognition was weak in first two cases. After training with the stimuli placed o...
Article
Full-text available
Discriminating same from different collections of items is central to human thought and reasoning. Recent comparative research suggests that same-different discrimination behavior is not uniquely human, does not require human language, is based on the variability of the collection of items, obeys fundamental psychophysical laws, and may be captured...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of the present study was to observe the functional relationship between stimulus dynamics and stimulus duration judgments in humans. Stimulus duration was defined as the length of time that a spinning sphere appeared on a computer screen. Stimulus dynamics were defined by how quickly the sphere rotated on its y-axis. Using a logarithmic...
Article
Full-text available
The launching effect, in which people judge one object to have caused another to immediately move after contact, is often described as the prototype of direct causation. The special status of this interaction may be due to its psychophysical distinctiveness, and this property may be the origin of the formation of causality as a conceptual category....
Article
A first-person shooter video game was adapted for the study of causal decision making within dynamic environments. The video game included groups of three potential targets. Participants chose which of the three targets in each group was producing distal explosions. The actual source of the explosion effect varied in the delay between the firing of...
Article
Morris water maze data are most commonly analyzed using repeated measures analysis of variance in which daily test sessions are analyzed as an unordered categorical variable. This approach, however, may lack power, relies heavily on post hoc tests of daily performance that can complicate interpretation, and does not target the nonlinear trends evid...