Teresa Mccormack

Teresa Mccormack
Queen's University Belfast | QUB · School of Psychology

PhD

About

113
Publications
29,732
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2,811
Citations
Citations since 2017
49 Research Items
1495 Citations
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Publications

Publications (113)
Article
Full-text available
Cuing adults to imagine their personal futures enhances prudent choice in delay discounting tasks. However, it has not been established that such cueing also reduces discounting in children. We assessed the effect of episodic future thinking (EFT) on delay of gratification in children using EFT cues specifically related to the rewards on offer. One...
Article
Full-text available
Developmentalists have investigated relief as a counterfactually mediated emotion, but not relief experienced when negative events end—so-called temporal relief. This study represents the first body of work to investigate the development of children’s understanding of temporal relief and compare it with their understanding of counterfactual relief....
Article
Full-text available
Despite being implicated in a wide range of psychological and behavioral phenomena, relief remains poorly understood from the perspective of psychological science. What complicates the study of relief is that people seem to use the term to describe an emotion that occurs in two distinct situations: when an unpleasant episode is over, or upon realiz...
Article
The relations between prosocial risk taking (taking a risk to benefit another person; PSRT) and interpersonal regret (regret that one's choices have caused a poor outcome for another person) were examined in 192 children aged 7–9. PSRT was measured by children's choices within a gambling task in which one choice guaranteed participants a good prize...
Article
Full-text available
People hold intuitive theories of the physical world, such as theories of matter, energy, and motion, in the sense that they have a coherent conceptual structure supporting a network of beliefs about the domain. It is not yet clear whether people can also be said to hold a shared intuitive theory of time. Yet, philosophical debates about the metaph...
Article
Mind wandering is a common everyday experience during which attention shifts from the here and now; in adults and adolescents, it is associated with poorer performance in educationally significant tasks. This study is the first to directly assess the impact of mind wandering on memory retention in children before the adolescent period. A sample of...
Chapter
This introduction seeks to draw together some themes that cut across different contributions to this volume. It focuses in particular on the kinds of explanations that have been given for the existence of psychological past/future asymmetries, the diversity of such asymmetries, conceptions of temporal neutrality and their normative status, and the...
Chapter
A developmental perspective on temporal asymmetries can contribute to debates on their adaptiveness and cultural specificity, and reveal differences in the way that children think about time compared to the way that adults do so. Evidence is reviewed for the existence and causal interdependence of several types of temporal asymmetries in judgements...
Article
Humans’ attitudes towards an event often vary depending on whether the event has already happened or has yet to take place. The dread felt at the thought of a forthcoming examination turns into relief once it is over. People also value past events less than future ones—offering less pay for work already carried out than for the same work to be carr...
Article
The willingness to take a risk is shaped by temperaments and cognitive abilities, both of which develop rapidly during childhood. In the adult developmental literature, a distinction is drawn between description-based tasks, that provide explicit choice-reward information, and experience-based tasks, that require decisions from past experience, eac...
Article
The goal of perception is to infer the most plausible source of sensory stimulation. Unisensory perception of temporal order, however, appears to require no inference, because the order of events can be uniquely determined from the order in which sensory signals arrive. Here, we demonstrate a novel perceptual illusion that casts doubt on this intui...
Article
Discounting the value of delayed rewards such that even a relatively small, immediately available reward is preferred to a larger delayed reward is a commonly observed human trait. Children are particularly steep discounters of delayed rewards as evidenced by delay of gratification studies. In recent years, however, a growing literature indicates t...
Article
Full-text available
Recent claims contrast relief experienced because a period of unpleasant uncertainty has ended and an outcome has materialized (temporal relief)—regardless of whether it is one’s preferred outcome—with relief experienced because a particular outcome has occurred, when the alternative was unpalatable (counterfactual relief). Two studies ( N = 993),...
Article
Full-text available
Philosophical debates about the metaphysics of time typically revolve around two contrasting views of time. On the A-theory, time is something that itself undergoes change, as captured by the idea of the passage of time; on the B-theory, all there is to time is events standing in before/after or simultaneity relations to each other, and these tempo...
Article
We investigated whether the developmental emergence of episodic future thinking (EFT) is associated with performance on a type of delay of gratification task: a delay choice task that involved choosing between a small reward now or a larger reward the next day. In Study 1, 4- to 5-year-olds' (N = 99) EFT as measured by a tool saving task was signif...
Article
Numerous studies have examined the development of regret about choices yielding non-optimal outcomes for the self (intrapersonal regret), but regret can also be experienced when one’s choices lead to poor outcomes for another person (interpersonal regret). We investigated interpersonal regret in children using a novel prosocial risk taking task tha...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated whether individual differences in future time perception and the detail with which future events are imagined are related to children’s delay of gratification. We administered a delay choice task (real rewards), a delay discounting task (hypothetical rewards), a novel future time perception measure, an episodic future thinking (EFT)...
Article
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A number of high-profile gender equality initiatives (GEIs) are intended to address women's underrepresentation in science. However, attitudes toward such initiatives can be negative. In two experiments with STEM academics, we examined how GEIs can be best framed to improve attitudes toward them. In study 1 (N = 113), we manipulated the framing of...
Article
Full-text available
Regret is a common emotion that has important links with decision-making in adults. Recent research suggests that the ability to experience regret emerges relatively late in development. By around 6 years, most children will experience regret, but the likelihood of experiencing this emotion increases across childhood and into adolescence. The devel...
Article
Full-text available
It seems self-evident that people prefer painful experiences to be in the past and pleasurable experiences to lie in the future. Indeed, it has been claimed that, for hedonic goods, this preference is absolute (Sullivan, 2018). Yet very little is known about the extent to which people demonstrate explicit preferences regarding the temporal location...
Article
This study investigated whether different types of ordering skills were related to mathematics achievement in children (n = 100) in middle childhood, after the effects of age, socio-economic status, IQ, and processing speed were taken into account. The relations between ordering skills and magnitude processing were also investigated, as well as the...
Article
Full-text available
Temporal binding refers to a phenomenon whereby the time interval between a cause and its effect is perceived as shorter than the same interval separating two unrelated events. We examined the developmental profile of this phenomenon by comparing the performance of groups of children (aged 6-7, 7-8, and 9-10 years) and adults on a novel interval es...
Article
Full-text available
In temporal binding, the temporal interval between one event and another, occurring some time later, is subjectively compressed. We discuss two ways in which temporal binding has been conceptualized. In studies showing temporal binding between a voluntary action and its causal consequences, such binding is typically interpreted as providing a measu...
Article
Full-text available
Temporal binding refers to a phenomenon whereby the time interval between a cause and its effect is perceived as shorter than the same interval separating two unrelated events. We examined the developmental profile of this phenomenon by comparing the performance of groups of children (aged 6-7-, 7-8-, and 9-10- years) and adults on a novel interval...
Article
The notion of what constitutes fairness has been assumed to change during childhood, in line with a marked shift from outcome-based to intention-based moral reasoning. However, the precise developmental profile of such a shift is still subject to debate. This study sought to determine the age at which the perceived intentions of others begin to inf...
Chapter
Full-text available
Children’s future-oriented cognition has become a well-established area of research over the last decade. Future-oriented cognition encompasses a range of processes, including those involved in conceiving the future, imagining and preparing for future events, and making decisions that will affect how the future unfolds. We consider recent empirical...
Article
Full-text available
Regret is a common emotion that has important links with decision-making in adults. Recent research suggests that the ability to experience regret emerges relatively late in development. By around 6 years, most children will experience regret but the likelihood of experiencing this emotion increases across childhood and into adolescence. The develo...
Article
Full-text available
We focus on three main sets of topics emerging from the commentaries on our target article. First, we discuss several types of animal behavior that commentators cite as evidence against our claim that animals are restricted to temporal updating and cannot engage in temporal reasoning. In doing so, we illustrate further how explanations of behavior...
Article
Although it has long been known that time is a cue to causation, recent work with adults has demonstrated that causality can also influence the experience of time. In causal reordering (Bechlivanidis & Lagnado, 2013, 2016) adults tend to report the causally consistent order of events, rather than the correct temporal order. However, the effect has...
Article
Full-text available
Human languages typically employ a variety of spatial metaphors for time (e.g., "I'm looking forward to the weekend"). The metaphorical grounding of time in space is also evident in gesture. The gestures that are performed when talking about time bolster the view that people sometimes think about regions of time as if they were locations in space....
Article
Full-text available
Discounting the value of delayed rewards has primarily been measured in children with the delay of gratification task and in adolescents and adults with the delay discounting task. In the present study, we assessed the suitability of the delay discounting task as a measure of temporal discounting in children. A sample of 7‐ to 9‐year‐olds (N = 98)...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has indicated that adults have a future-oriented cognitive bias, one illustration of which is their tendency to report more thoughts about the future than the past during mind-wandering. We examined whether children showed a similar bias, and whether there were any developmental changes in the magnitude of such a bias. Children ag...
Article
Full-text available
The current study investigated the development of children's performance on tasks that have been suggested to underlie early mathematics skills, including measures of cardinality, ordinality, and intelligence. Eighty‐seven children were tested in their first (T1) and second (T2) school year (at ages 5 and 6). Children's performance on all tasks dem...
Preprint
While it has long been known that time is a cue to causation, recent work with adults has demonstrated that causality can also influence the experience of time. In causal reordering (Bechlivanidis & Lagnado, 2013, 2016) adults tend to report the causally consistent order of events, rather than the correct temporal order. Across four experiments, 4-...
Article
It is well‐established that the temporal proximity of two events is a fundamental cue to causality. Recent research with adults has shown that this relation is bidirectional: events that are believed to be causally related are perceived as occurring closer together in time—the so‐called temporal binding effect. Here we examined the developmental or...
Article
Children (6- and 7-year-olds) decided whether to wait for a short delay to win a prize or for a longer period to win a different prize. Those who chose to take their prize after a short delay won two candies but were shown that they would have won four candies if they had waited longer. We measured whether children regretted their choice not to wai...
Article
Full-text available
We outline a dual systems approach to temporal cognition, which distinguishes between two cognitive systems for dealing with how things unfold over time – a temporal updating system and a temporal reasoning system – of which the former is both phylogenetically and ontogenetically more primitive than the latter, and which are at work alongside each...
Article
Full-text available
Mathematics difficulties are common in both children and adults, and they can have a great impact on people's lives. A specific learning disorder in mathematics (SLDM or developmental dyscalculia) is a special case of persistent mathematics difficulties, where the problems with maths cannot be attributed to environmental factors, intellectual disab...
Article
Full-text available
This study tested the hypothesis that individuals with dyscalculia have an order processing deficit. The ordering measures included both numerical and non- numerical ordering tasks, and ordering of both familiar and novel sequences was assessed. Magnitude processing/estimation tasks and measures of inhibition skills were also administered. The part...
Article
Full-text available
A number of striking temporal asymmetries have been observed in the way that adults think about the past and the future: experiences in the future tend to be more valued than those in the past, feel closer in subjective time, and elicit stronger emotions. Three studies explored the development of these temporal asymmetries for the first time with c...
Article
Full-text available
Ordinality is a fundamental feature of numbers and recent studies have highlighted the role that number ordering abilities play in mathematical development (e.g., Lyons et al., 2014), as well as mature mathematical performance (e.g., Lyons & Beilock, 2011). The current study tested the novel hypothesis that non-numerical ordering ability, as measur...
Article
Full-text available
Three experiments examined children's ability to feel regret following a failure to act prosocially. In Experiment 1, ninety 6- to 7-year-olds and one hundred seven 7- to 9-year-olds were given a choice to donate a resource to another child. If they failed to donate, they discovered that this meant the other child could not win a prize. Children in...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies of children’s counterfactual reasoning have focused on scenarios in which a single causal event yielded an outcome. However, there are also cases in which an outcome would have occurred even in the absence of its actual cause, because of the presence of a further potential cause. In this study, 128 to 152 children aged 4–9 years re...
Article
Full-text available
A new model of the development of temporal concepts is described that assumes that there are substantial changes in how children think about time in the early years. It is argued that there is a shift from understanding time in an event-dependent way to an event-independent understanding of time. Early in development, very young children are unable...
Article
Recent studies have shown that deductive reasoning skills (including transitive and conditional inferences) are related to mathematical abilities. Nevertheless, so far the links between mathematical abilities and these two forms of deductive inference have not been investigated in a single study. It is also unclear whether these inference forms are...
Article
Regret over missed opportunities leads adults to take more risks. Given recent evidence that the ability to experience regret impacts decisions made by six year olds, and pronounced interest in the antecedents to risk taking in adolescence, we investigated the age at which a relationship between missed opportunities and risky decision making emerge...
Article
Full-text available
Recent evidence has highlighted the important role that number ordering skills play in arithmetic abilities (e.g., Lyons & Beilock, 2011). In fact, Lyons et al. (2014) demonstrated that although at the start of formal mathematics education number comparison skills are the best predictors of arithmetic performance, from around the age of 10, number...
Poster
Full-text available
Children with developmental dyscalculia have order processing difficulties
Article
Full-text available
Although a number of studies have examined the developmental emergence of counterfactual emotions of regret and relief, none of these has used tasks that resemble those used with adolescents and adults, which typically involve risky decision making. We examined the development of the counterfactual emotions of regret and relief in two experiments u...
Article
Full-text available
Children between 5 and 8years of age freely intervened on a three-variable causal system, with their task being to discover whether it was a common cause structure or one of two causal chains. From 6 or 7years of age, children were able to use information from their interventions to correctly disambiguate the structure of a causal chain. We used a...
Article
Full-text available
In line with the claim that regret plays a role in decision making, O'Connor, McCormack, and Feeney (Child Development, 85 (2014) 1995-2010) found that children who reported feeling sadder on discovering they had made a non-optimal choice were more likely to make a different choice the next time around. We examined two issues of interpretation rega...
Chapter
Full-text available
Time features in two key ways in cognition, each of which is discussed in turn in this chapter: Time is processed as a dimension of stimuli or events, and time is represented as a framework in which events can be located. Section 1 examines the first of these from a developmental perspective, by reviewing research on age-related changes in the accu...
Article
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Three experiments examined children's and adults' abilities to use statistical and temporal information to distinguish between common cause and causal chain structures. In Experiment 1, participants were provided with conditional probability information and/or temporal information and asked to infer the causal structure of a 3-variable mechanical s...
Article
This paper provides an outline of the development of temporal thinking that is underpinned by the idea that temporal cognition shifts from being event dependent to event independent over the preschool period. I distinguish between three different ways in which it may be possible to have a perspective on time: (1) a perspective that is grounded in s...
Article
Eye-tracking studies have shown how people with autism spend significantly less time looking at socially relevant information on-screen compared to those developing typically. This has been suggested to impact on the development of socio-cognitive skills in autism. We present novel evidence of how attention atypicalities in children with autism ext...
Article
Full-text available
Although regret is assumed to facilitate good decision making, there is little research directly addressing this assumption. Four experiments (N = 326) examined the relation between children's ability to experience regret and the quality of their subsequent decision making. In Experiment 1 regret and adaptive decision making showed the same develop...
Article
Full-text available
Although recent studies have established that children experience regret from around 6 years, we do not yet know when the ability to anticipate this emotion emerges, despite the importance of the anticipation of regret in decision-making. We examined whether children will anticipate they will feel regret if they were to find out in a box-choosing g...
Article
Full-text available
The temporal priority principle states that all causes must precede their effects. It is widely assumed that children's causal reasoning is guided by this principle from early in development. However, the empirical studies that have examined children's use of the principle, most of which were conducted some decades ago, in fact show inconsistent fi...
Article
A sample of 99 children completed a causal learning task that was an analogue of the food allergy paradigm used with adults. The cue competition effects of blocking and unovershadowing were assessed under forward and backward presentation conditions. Children also answered questions probing their ability to make the inference posited to be necessar...
Article
Full-text available
According to a higher order reasoning account, inferential reasoning processes underpin the widely observed cue competition effect of blocking in causal learning. The inference required for blocking has been described as modus tollens (if p then q, not q therefore not p). Young children are known to have difficulties with this type of inference, bu...
Article
Full-text available
The effect of additivity pretraining on blocking has been taken as evidence for a reasoning account of human and animal causal learning. If inferential reasoning underpins this effect, then developmental differences in the magnitude of this effect in children would be expected. Experiment 1 examined cue competition effects in children's (4- to 5-ye...
Article
Why study tool use if you are interested in causal cognition? Take an everyday example of a tool, such as a spoon, a hammer, or even a coin used to loosen a screw because no screwdriver is to hand (all examples taken from chapters in this volume). Generally, whether a tool is useful for a given end, and how it should be used to reach that end eff e...
Article
This chapter reviews evidence for the temporal memory binding hypothesis the suggestion that temporal coordinates play a privileged role in the maintenance and retrieval of associative binding relations in human memory. First, it briefly discusses the relation between binding problems in perception and in memory. It then describes evidence consiste...
Article
In this chapter, we distinguish between two ways in which counterfactual and causal judgements might be linked. According to a psychological relatedness view, counterfactual and causal judgements are viewed as psychologically related and expected to be consistent with each other, whereas according to a counterfactual process view, counterfactual th...
Article
The application of the formal framework of causal Bayesian Networks to children's causal learning provides the motivation to examine the link between judgments about the causal structure of a system, and the ability to make inferences about interventions on components of the system. Three experiments examined whether children are able to make corre...
Book
How are causal judgements such as 'The ice on the road caused the traffic accident' connected with counterfactual judgements such as 'If there had not been any ice on the road, the traffic accident would not have happened'? This volume throws new light on this question by uniting, for the first time, psychological and philosophical approaches to ca...
Chapter
We provide an introduction to some of the key issues raised in this volume by considering how individual chapters bear on the prospects of what may be called a 'counterfactual process view' of causal reasoning. According to such a view, counterfactual thought is an essential part of the processing involved in making causal judgements, at least in a...
Chapter
This chapter considers in what sense, if any, planning and future thinking is involved both in the sort of behaviour examined by McCarty et al. (1999) and in the sort of behaviour measured by researchers creating versions of Tulving's spoon test. It argues that mature human planning and future thinking involves a particular type of temporal cogniti...
Book
What cognitive abilities underpin the use of tools, and how are tools and their properties represented or understood by tool-users? Does the study of tool use provide us with a unique or distinctive source of information about the causal cognition of tool-users? Tool use is a topic of major interest to all those interested in animal cognition, beca...