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Preview: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied - Vol 15, Iss 4

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied - Vol 23, Iss 1



The mission of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied is to publish original empirical investigations in experimental psychology that bridge practically oriented problems and psychological theory. The journal also publishes research aimed at deve



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Copyright: Copyright 2017 American Psychological Association
 



How readers understand causal and correlational expressions used in news headlines.

2016-11-03

[Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported in Vol 23(1) of Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied (see record 2016-59631-001). In the article, the fourth author was inadvertently omitted from the advance online version. Also, the second paragraph of the author note should have included the following: “Amy Barrington contributed to the design and data collection for Experiments 2 and 3. We thank the following undergraduate students for contributions to Experiment 1 and pilot work leading up to the project: Laura Benjamin, Cecily Donnelly, Cameron Dunlop, Rebecca Emerson, Rose Fisher, Laura Jones, Olivia Manship, Hannah McCarthy, Naomi Scott, Eliza Walwyn-Jones, Leanne Whelan, and Joe Wilton.” All versions of this article have been corrected.] Science-related news stories can have a profound impact on how the public make decisions. The current study presents 4 experiments that examine how participants understand scientific expressions used in news headlines. The expressions concerned causal and correlational relationships between variables (e.g., “being breast fed makes children behave better”). Participants rated or ranked headlines according to the extent that one variable caused the other. Our results suggest that participants differentiate between 3 distinct categories of relationship: direct cause statements (e.g., “makes,” “increases”), which were interpreted as the most causal; can cause statements (e.g., “can make,” “can increase”); and moderate cause statements (e.g., “might cause,” “linked,” “associated with”), but do not consistently distinguish within the last group despite the logical distinction between cause and association. On the basis of this evidence, we make recommendations for appropriately communicating cause and effect in news headlines. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Climate change helplessness and the (de)moralization of individual energy behavior.

2017-02-06

Although most people understand the threat of climate change, they do little to modify their own energy conservation behavior. One reason for this gap between belief and behavior may be that individual actions seem unimpactful and therefore are not morally relevant. This research investigates how climate change helplessness—belief that one’s actions cannot affect climate change—can undermine the moralization of climate change and personal energy conservation. In Study 1, climate change efficacy predicted both moralization of energy use and energy conservation intentions beyond individual belief in climate change. In Studies 2 and 3, participants read information about climate change that varied in efficacy message, that is, whether individual actions (e.g., using less water, turning down heat) make a difference in the environment. Participants who read that their behavior made no meaningful impact reported weaker moralization and intentions (Study 2), and reported more energy consumption 1 week later (Study 3). Moreover, effects on intentions and actions were mediated by changes in moralization. We discuss ways to improve climate change messages to foster environmental efficacy and moralization of personal energy use. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



“How readers understand causal and correlational expressions used in news headlines”: Correction to Adams et al. (2016).

2016-12-12

Reports an error in "How Readers Understand Causal and Correlational Expressions Used in News Headlines" by Rachel C. Adams, Petroc Sumner, Solveiga Vivian-Griffiths, Amy Barrington, Andrew Williams, Jacky Boivin, Christopher D. Chambers and Lewis Bott (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, Advanced Online Publication, Nov 3, 2016, np). In the article, the fourth author was inadvertently omitted from the advance online version. Also, the second paragraph of the author note should have included the following: “Amy Barrington contributed to the design and data collection for Experiments 2 and 3. We thank the following undergraduate students for contributions to Experiment 1 and pilot work leading up to the project: Laura Benjamin, Cecily Donnelly, Cameron Dunlop, Rebecca Emerson, Rose Fisher, Laura Jones, Olivia Manship, Hannah McCarthy, Naomi Scott, Eliza Walwyn-Jones, Leanne Whelan, and Joe Wilton.” All versions of this article have been corrected. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2016-52933-001.) Science-related news stories can have a profound impact on how the public make decisions. The current study presents 4 experiments that examine how participants understand scientific expressions used in news headlines. The expressions concerned causal and correlational relationships between variables (e.g., “being breast fed makes children behave better”). Participants rated or ranked headlines according to the extent that one variable caused the other. Our results suggest that participants differentiate between 3 distinct categories of relationship: direct cause statements (e.g., “makes,” “increases”), which were interpreted as the most causal; can cause statements (e.g., “can make,” “can increase”); and moderate cause statements (e.g., “might cause,” “linked,” “associated with”), but do not consistently distinguish within the last group despite the logical distinction between cause and association. On the basis of this evidence, we make recommendations for appropriately communicating cause and effect in news headlines. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Mind the gap! Automated concept map feedback supports students in writing cohesive explanations.

2017-01-02

Many students are challenged with the demand of writing cohesive explanations. To support students in writing cohesive explanations, we developed a computer-based feedback tool that visualizes cohesion deficits of students’ explanations in a concept map. We conducted three studies to investigate the effectiveness of such feedback as well as the underlying cognitive processes. In Study 1, we found that the concept map helped students identify potential cohesion gaps in their drafts and plan remedial revisions. In Study 2, students with concept map feedback conducted revisions that resulted in more locally and globally cohesive, and also more comprehensible, explanations than the explanations of students who revised without concept map feedback. In Study 3, we replicated the findings of Study 2 by and large. More importantly, students who had received concept map feedback on a training explanation 1 week later wrote a transfer explanation without feedback that was more cohesive than the explanation of students who had received no feedback on their training explanation. The automated concept map feedback appears to particularly support the evaluation phase of the revision process. Furthermore, the feedback enabled novice writers to acquire sustainable skills in writing cohesive explanations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Evaluating the feature comparison strategy for forensic face identification.

2017-01-02

Face recognition is thought to rely on representations that encode holistic properties. Paradoxically, professional forensic examiners who identify unfamiliar faces by comparing facial images are trained to adopt a feature-by-feature comparison strategy. Here we tested the effectiveness of this strategy by asking participants to rate facial feature similarity prior to making same/different identity decisions to pairs of face images. Experiment 1 provided preliminary evidence that rating feature similarity improves unfamiliar face matching accuracy in novice participants. In Experiment 2, we found benefits of this procedure over and above rating similarity of personality traits and image quality parameters, suggesting that benefits are not solely attributable to general increases in attention. In Experiment 3, we then compared performance of trained forensic facial image examiners to novice participants, and found that examiners displayed: i) superior face matching accuracy; ii) smaller face inversion and feature inversion effects; and iii) feature ratings that were more diagnostic of identity. Further, aggregating feature ratings of multiple examiners produced perfect identity discrimination. Based on these quantitative and qualitative differences between experts and novices, we conclude that comparison based on local features confers specific benefits to trained forensic examiners. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Discriminating between correct and incorrect eyewitness identifications: The use of appropriate cues.

2017-01-02

To explain fact finders’ judgment accuracy when evaluating the accuracy of an identification decision we applied the Brunswikian lens model. Guided by this model we examined (a) which cues observers use to evaluate an identification decision and how they interpret them (“subjective utilities”); and (b) if these cues as perceived by observers are indeed related to identification accuracy (“ecological validities”). Ninety-six participant-observers were presented with 48 videotaped positive identification decisions. For half of the participants, a think-aloud method was employed to make discriminating cues more salient to observers; the other half retrospectively provided reasons for their decisions. As expected, discriminating cues were visible only when think-aloud protocols were used. However, observers’ use of these cues as indicators of identification accuracy was independent of type of decision protocol. Thus, only in the think-aloud condition was a high correspondence between subjective utilities and ecological validities observed. Advantages of think-aloud methods and videotapes to increase fact finders’ judgment accuracy when evaluating identification decisions are discussed. Additional data from a follow-up experiment replicating these findings with transcripts are presented in online supplementary material. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Undermining position effects in choices from arrays, with implications for police lineups.

2017-03-13

Choices from arrays are often characterized by position effects, such as edge-aversion. We investigated position effects when participants attempted to pick a suspect from an array similar to a police photo lineup. A reanalysis of data from 2 large-scale field studies showed that choices made under realistic conditions—closely matching eyewitness identification decisions in police investigations—displayed edge-aversion and bias to choose from the top row (Study 1). In a series of experiments (Studies 2a–2c and 3), participants guessing the location of a suspect exhibited edge-aversion regardless of whether the lineup was constructed to maximize the chances of the suspect being picked, to ensure the suspect did not stand out, or randomly. Participants favored top locations only when the lineup was constructed to maximize the chances of the suspect being picked. In Studies 4 and 5, position effects disappeared when (a) response options were presented in an array with no obvious center, edges, or corners, and (b) instructions stated that the suspect was placed randomly. These findings show that position effects are influenced by a combination of task instructions and array shape. Randomizing the location of the suspect and modifying the shape of the lineup array may reduce misidentification. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Passive restraint reduces visually induced motion sickness in older adults.

2017-02-02

Virtual environments such as those used in video games and driving/flight simulators are used for entertainment and training, but are often associated with visually induced motion sickness (VIMS). In this study, we asked whether passive restraint of the head and torso could reduce VIMS in younger and older adults. Twenty-one younger (18–35 years) and 16 older (65 + years) healthy adults engaged in a simulated driving task using a console video game while seated. On different days, participants completed 2 conditions: (a) in the unrestrained condition, participants were seated in a chair without a backrest and were free to move and (b) in the restrained condition, participants’ head and torso were passively restrained to the backrest and headrest of the seat using tense elastic strips. Before and after exposure to the driving game, we measured standing postural sway with eyes closed. VIMS severity was quantified using the Fast Motion Sickness Scale and the Simulator Sickness Questionnaire. Results showed that older (but not younger) participants who became sick in the unrestrained condition reported significantly less VIMS when they were passively restrained. The present findings suggest that passive restraint may be useful to reduce, but not fully prevent, VIMS, particularly in older adults. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



“You must be lying because I don’t understand you: Language proficiency and lie detection:” Correction to Elliott and Leach (2016).

2017-01-12

Reports an error in "You must be lying because I don’t understand you: Language proficiency and lie detection" by Elizabeth Elliott and Amy-May Leach (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 2016[Dec], Vol 22[4], 488-499). In the Results section, under “Signal detection theory,” the first sentence of the second paragraph contains errors. The correct sentence is provided in this erratum. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2016-59419-006.) We examined the impact of interviewees’ language proficiencies on observers’ lie detection performance. Observers (N = 132) were randomly assigned to make deception judgments about interviewees (N = 56) from Four proficiency groups (i.e., native, advanced, intermediate, and beginner English speakers). Discrimination between lie- and truth-tellers was poorest when observers judged beginner English speakers compared to interviewees from any other proficiency group. Observers were also less likely to exhibit a truth-bias toward nonnative than native English speakers. These results suggest that interviewing individuals in their nonnative languages can create inequalities in the justice system. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Corporate personhood: Lay perceptions and ethical consequences.

2017-01-02

Modern conceptions of corporate personhood have spurred considerable debate about the rights that society should afford business organizations. Across eight experiments, we compare lay perceptions of how corporations and people use rights, and also explore the consequences of these judgments. We find that people believe corporations, compared to humans, are similarly likely to use rights in protective ways that prevent harm but more likely to use rights in nonprotective ways that appear independent from—or even create—harm (Experiments 1a through 1c and Experiment 2). Because of these beliefs, people support corporate rights to a lesser extent than human rights (Experiment 3). However, people are more supportive of specific corporate rights when we framed them as serving protective functions (Experiment 4). Also as a result of these beliefs, people attribute greater ethical responsibility to corporations, but not to humans, that gain access to rights (Experiments 5a and 5b). Despite their equitability in many domains, people believe corporations and humans use rights in different ways, ultimately producing different reactions to their behaviors as well as asymmetric moral evaluations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



“Multisensory brand search: How the meaning of sounds guides consumers’ visual attention”: Correction to Knoeferle et al. (2016).

2017-03-13

Reports an error in "Multisensory brand search: How the meaning of sounds guides consumers’ visual attention" by Klemens M. Knoeferle, Pia Knoeferle, Carlos Velasco and Charles Spence (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 2016[Jun], Vol 22[2], 196-210). In the article, under Experiment 2, Design and Stimuli, the set number of target products and visual distractors reported in the second paragraph should be 20 and 13, respectively: “On each trial, the 16 products shown in the display were randomly selected from a set of 20 products belonging to different categories. Out of the set of 20 products, seven were potential targets, whereas the other 13 were used as visual distractors only throughout the experiment (since they were not linked to specific usage or consumption sounds).” Consequently, Appendix A in the supplemental materials has been updated. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2016-28876-002.) Building on models of crossmodal attention, the present research proposes that brand search is inherently multisensory, in that the consumers’ visual search for a specific brand can be facilitated by semantically related stimuli that are presented in another sensory modality. A series of 5 experiments demonstrates that the presentation of spatially nonpredictive auditory stimuli associated with products (e.g., usage sounds or product-related jingles) can crossmodally facilitate consumers’ visual search for, and selection of, products. Eye-tracking data (Experiment 2) revealed that the crossmodal effect of auditory cues on visual search manifested itself not only in RTs, but also in the earliest stages of visual attentional processing, thus suggesting that the semantic information embedded within sounds can modulate the perceptual saliency of the target products’ visual representations. Crossmodal facilitation was even observed for newly learnt associations between unfamiliar brands and sonic logos, implicating multisensory short-term learning in establishing audiovisual semantic associations. The facilitation effect was stronger when searching complex rather than simple visual displays, thus suggesting a modulatory role of perceptual load. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)