Subscribe: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General - Vol 138, Iss 4
Preview: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General - Vol 138, Iss 4

Journal of Experimental Psychology: General - Vol 145, Iss 12

The Journal of Experimental Psychology: General publishes articles describing empirical work that bridges the traditional interests of two or more communities of psychology.

Last Build Date: Mon, 05 Dec 2016 15:00:11 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2016 American Psychological Association

Two Bayesian tests of the GLOMOsys Model.


Priming is arguably one of the key phenomena in contemporary social psychology. Recent retractions and failed replication attempts have led to a division in the field between proponents and skeptics and have reinforced the importance of confirming certain priming effects through replication. In this study, we describe the results of 2 preregistered replication attempts of 1 experiment by Förster and Denzler (2012). In both experiments, participants first processed letters either globally or locally, then were tested using a typicality rating task. Bayes factor hypothesis tests were conducted for both experiments: Experiment 1 (N = 100) yielded an indecisive Bayes factor of 1.38, indicating that the in-lab data are 1.38 times more likely to have occurred under the null hypothesis than under the alternative. Experiment 2 (N = 908) yielded a Bayes factor of 10.84, indicating strong support for the null hypothesis that global priming does not affect participants’ mean typicality ratings. The failure to replicate this priming effect challenges existing support for the GLOMOsys model. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Active perspective taking induces flexible use of self-knowledge during social inference.


Social life hinges on the ability to infer others’ mental states. By default, people often recruit self-knowledge during social inference, particularly for others who are similar to oneself. How do people’s active perspective-taking efforts—deliberately imagining another’s perspective—affect self-knowledge use? In 2 experiments, we test the flexible self-application hypothesis: that the application of self-knowledge to a perspective-taking target differs based on that person’s similarity to oneself. We found consistent evidence that, when making inferences about dissimilar others, perspective taking increased the projection of one’s own traits and preferences to those targets, relative to a control condition. When making inferences about similar others, however, perspective taking decreased projection. These findings suggest that self-target similarity critically shapes the inferential processes triggered by active perspective-taking efforts. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Minimal conditions of motor inductions of approach-avoidance states: The case of oral movements.


The minimal conditions to elicit affective responses via approach-avoidance movements were explored by using oral movements (total N = 1,363). To induce oral movements, words were construed whose consonants (and vowels) wandered either from front to back of the mouth (e.g., PEKA, inward, like swallowing, approach) or from back to front (e.g., KEPA, outward, like spitting, avoidance). Participants preferred inward over outward consonant wanderings when reading only 2 phonemes (e.g., PEKA vs. KEPA), single letters (e.g., PK vs. KP), and even when only listening to a speaker uttering such stimuli (Experiments 1–4). Vowel wanderings had no systematic effect. The larger the consonantal inward and outward jumps, irrespective from where they started in the mouth, the stronger was their affective impact (Experiments 6–7). Visual presentation of words generally evoked stronger in-out effects than listening to a speaker uttering the words, which speaks against a sound symbolism explanation. Informing theorizing also on the much more common manual approach-avoidance inductions, these findings show that approach-avoidance movements can elicit affect by activating only the starting and ending point of a spatial movement gradient, even involving differing muscles for these spots, respectively. Also, the present findings imply that the magnitude of the distance of the spatial approach-avoidance gradient matters (the larger the distance, the larger the affective response), and that such effects can be induced by mere observation (by only listening to a speaker). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Correction to Kane et al. (2016).


Reports an error in "Individual differences in the executive control of attention, memory, and thought, and their associations with schizotypy" by Michael J. Kane, Matt E. Meier, Bridget A. Smeekens, Georgina M. Gross, Charlotte A. Chun, Paul J. Silvia and Thomas R. Kwapil (Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 2016[Aug], Vol 145[8], 1017-1048). There were errors in Table 3 and Table 7 (these transcription errors were limited to descriptive statistics in the Tables and did not affect any inferential statistics). In Table 3, the ARRO-TUT and LETT-TUT variables had incorrect values for Mean [95% CI], SD, Skew, Kurtosis, and N. In Table 7, the same values (plus Min and Max) were incorrect for the SEM-SART variable. The correct values for these measures are presented in the correction (the values for Min and Max were correct as set in Table 3, but are repeated below for clarity). (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2016-29680-001.) A large correlational study took a latent-variable approach to the generality of executive control by testing the individual-differences structure of executive-attention capabilities and assessing their prediction of schizotypy, a multidimensional construct (with negative, positive, disorganized, and paranoid factors) conveying risk for schizophrenia. Although schizophrenia is convincingly linked to executive deficits, the schizotypy literature is equivocal. Subjects completed tasks of working memory capacity (WMC), attention restraint (inhibiting prepotent responses), and attention constraint (focusing visual attention amid distractors), the latter 2 in an effort to fractionate the “inhibition” construct. We also assessed mind-wandering propensity (via in-task thought probes) and coefficient of variation in response times (RT CoV) from several tasks as more novel indices of executive attention. WMC, attention restraint, attention constraint, mind wandering, and RT CoV were correlated but separable constructs, indicating some distinctions among “attention control” abilities; WMC correlated more strongly with attentional restraint than constraint, and mind wandering correlated more strongly with attentional restraint, attentional constraint, and RT CoV than with WMC. Across structural models, no executive construct predicted negative schizotypy and only mind wandering and RT CoV consistently (but modestly) predicted positive, disorganized, and paranoid schizotypy; stalwart executive constructs in the schizophrenia literature—WMC and attention restraint—showed little to no predictive power, beyond restraint’s prediction of paranoia. Either executive deficits are consequences rather than risk factors for schizophrenia, or executive failures barely precede or precipitate diagnosable schizophrenia symptoms. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Impaired generalization of speaker identity in the perception of familiar and unfamiliar voices.


In 2 behavioral experiments, we explored how the extraction of identity-related information from familiar and unfamiliar voices is affected by naturally occurring vocal flexibility and variability, introduced by different types of vocalizations and levels of volitional control during production. In a first experiment, participants performed a speaker discrimination task on vowels, volitional (acted) laughter, and spontaneous (authentic) laughter from 5 unfamiliar speakers. We found that performance was significantly impaired for spontaneous laughter, a vocalization produced under reduced volitional control. We additionally found that the detection of identity-related information fails to generalize across different types of nonverbal vocalizations (e.g., laughter vs. vowels) and across mismatches in volitional control within vocalization pairs (e.g., volitional laughter vs. spontaneous laughter), with performance levels indicating an inability to discriminate between speakers. In a second experiment, we explored whether personal familiarity with the speakers would afford greater accuracy and better generalization of identity perception. Using new stimuli, we largely replicated our previous findings: whereas familiarity afforded a consistent performance advantage for speaker discriminations, the experimental manipulations impaired performance to similar extents for familiar and unfamiliar listener groups. We discuss our findings with reference to prototype-based models of voice processing and suggest potential underlying mechanisms and representations of familiar and unfamiliar voice perception. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

How target–lure similarity shapes confidence judgments in multiple-alternative decision tasks.


Confidence judgments in 2-alternative decisions have been the subject of a great deal of research in cognitive psychology. Sequential sampling models have been particularly successful at explaining confidence judgments in such decisions and the relationships between confidence, accuracy, and response latencies. Across 5 experiments, we derived predictions from sequential sampling models and applied them to more complex decisions: multiple-alternative decisions, and compound decisions, such as eyewitness identification tasks, in which a target may be present or absent within the array of items that can be selected. We hypothesized that, when a decision-maker chooses an item, confidence in that decision reflects the relative evidence for the chosen item over all unchosen items. We tested this hypothesis by manipulating the similarity between the target (or target-replacement, for trials in which the target was not present in the array) and the weakest lure(s). As target–lure similarity decreased, confidence in correct target identifications increased, while response latencies decreased. When the decision-maker chose none of the items, the similarity between the target-replacement and the lures was unrelated to confidence. We conclude that similar mechanisms underpin confidence judgments in multiple-alternative and positive compound decisions as in simpler, 2-alternative decisions. A goal of future research should be to formally extend sequential sampling models to more complex decisions, such that it will be possible to establish whether diffusion or accumulator models provide a better fit to the data. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Action versus state orientation moderates the impact of executive functioning on real-life self-control.


Self-control is commonly assumed to depend on executive functions (EFs). However, it is unclear whether real-life self-control failures result from deficient EF competencies or rather reflect insufficient conflict-induced mobilization of executive control, and whether self-control depends more critically on function-specific EF competencies or general executive functioning (GEF), that is, common competencies that underlie all EFs. Here we investigated whether failure-related action versus state orientation, a personality trait related to the conflict-induced mobilization of cognitive control, moderates the effect of general and function-specific control competencies on self-control. To this end, 240 young adults completed questionnaire measures of action-state orientation and trait self-control, reported everyday self-control failures during 7 consecutive days via smartphone-based experience sampling, and completed 9 EF tasks from which latent variables reflecting GEF as well as inhibition-, updating-, and shifting-specific competencies were derived. Structural equation models confirmed that the effect of GEF on self-control was moderated by action-state orientation: action-oriented compared with more state-oriented participants showed a stronger inverse association between GEF and everyday self-control failures. Corresponding effects of function-specific competencies on self-control were not found. These results highlight that high executive functioning may enable self-controlled behavior only if control is sufficiently mobilized when needed and suggest that self-control may depend more critically on general than function-specific control competencies. More generally, the present study demonstrates the fruitfulness of combining latent-variable models of well-controlled EF tasks with experience sampling of daily self-control and measures of individual differences in control modes to bridge the gap between laboratory research and real-life behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

The road to heaven is paved with effort: Perceived effort amplifies moral judgment.


If good intentions pave the road to hell, what paves the road to heaven? We propose that moral judgments are based, in part, on the degree of effort exerted in performing the immoral or moral act. Because effort can serve as an index of goal importance, greater effort in performing immoral acts would lead to more negative judgments, whereas greater effort in performing moral acts would lead to more positive judgments. In support of these ideas, we found that perceived effort intensified judgments of both immoral (Studies 1–2) and moral (Studies 2–7) agents. The effect of effort on judgment was independent of the outcome (Study 3) and of perceptions of the outcome extremity (Study 6). Furthermore, the effect of effort on judgment was mediated by perceived goal importance (Studies 4–6), even when controlling for perceived intentions (Studies 5–6). Finally, we demonstrate that perceived effort can influence actual behavior, such as the assignment of monetary rewards (Study 7). We discuss the possible implications of effort as a causal motivational factor in moral judgment and social retribution. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Competing while cooperating with the same others: The consequences of conflicting demands in co-opetition.


Numerous studies comparing the effects of competition and cooperation demonstrated that competition is detrimental on the social level. However, instead of purely competing, many social contexts require competing while cooperating with the same social target. The current work examined the consequences of such “co-opetition” situations between individuals. Because having to compete and to cooperate with the same social target constitutes conflicting demands, co-opetition should lead to more flexibility, such as (a) less rigid transfer effects of competitive behavior and (b) less rigidity/more flexibility in general. Supporting these predictions, Studies 1a and 1b demonstrated that co-opetition did not elicit competitive behavior in a subsequent task (here: enhanced deceiving of uninvolved others). Study 2 showed that adding conflicting demands (independent of social interdependence) to competition likewise elicits less competitive transfer than competition without such conflicting demands. Beyond that, co-opetition reduced rigid response tendencies during a classification task in Studies 3a and 3b and enhanced flexibility during brainstorming in Study 4, compared with other forms of interdependence. Together, these results suggest that co-opetition leads to more flexible behavior when individuals have to reconcile conflicting demands. Implications for research on social priming, interdependence and competition in everyday life are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

How does not responding to appetitive stimuli cause devaluation: Evaluative conditioning or response inhibition?


In a series of 6 experiments (5 preregistered), we examined how not responding to appetitive stimuli causes devaluation. To examine this question, a go/no-go task was employed in which appetitive stimuli were consistently associated with cues to respond (go stimuli), or with cues to not respond (either no-go cues or the absence of cues; no-go stimuli). Change in evaluations of no-go stimuli was compared to change in evaluations of both go stimuli and of stimuli not presented in the task (untrained stimuli). Experiments 1 to 3 show that not responding to appetitive stimuli in a go/no-go task causes devaluation of these stimuli regardless of the presence of an explicit no-go cue. Experiments 4a and 4b show that the devaluation effect of appetitive stimuli is contingent on the percentage of no-go trials; devaluation appears when no-go trials are rare, but disappears when no-go trials are frequent. Experiment 5 shows that simply observing the go/no-go task does not lead to devaluation. Experiment 6 shows that not responding to neutral stimuli does not cause devaluation. Together, these results suggest that devaluation of appetitive stimuli by not responding to them is the result of response inhibition. By employing both go stimuli and untrained stimuli as baselines, alternative explanations are ruled out, and apparent inconsistencies in the literature are resolved. These experiments provide new theoretical insight into the relation between not responding and evaluation, and can be applied to design motor response training procedures aimed at changing people’s behavior toward appetitive stimuli. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

"Replicable effects of primes on human behavior": Correction to Payne et al. (2016).


Reports an error in "Replicable effects of primes on human behavior" by B. Keith Payne, Jazmin L. Brown-Iannuzzi and Chris Loersch (Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 2016[Oct], Vol 145[10], 1269-1279). In the article, the graph in Figure 5 did not contain the asterisk mentioned in the figure caption, which was intended to indicate a statistically significant difference between bet and pass prime. The online version of this article has been corrected. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2016-46925-002.) The effect of primes (i.e., incidental cues) on human behavior has become controversial. Early studies reported counterintuitive findings, suggesting that primes can shape a wide range of human behaviors. Recently, several studies failed to replicate some earlier priming results, raising doubts about the reliability of those effects. We present a within-subjects procedure for priming behavior, in which participants decide whether to bet or pass on each trial of a gambling game. We report 6 replications (N = 988) showing that primes consistently affected gambling decisions when the decision was uncertain. Decisions were influenced by primes presented visibly, with a warning to ignore the primes (Experiments 1 through 3) and with subliminally presented masked primes (Experiment 4). Using a process dissociation procedure, we found evidence that primes influenced responses through both automatic and controlled processes (Experiments 5 and 6). Results provide evidence that primes can reliably affect behavior, under at least some conditions, without intention. The findings suggest that the psychological question of whether behavior priming effects are real should be separated from methodological issues affecting how easily particular experimental designs will replicate. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Noninvasive stimulation over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex facilitates the inhibition of motivated responding.


Self-control involves the inhibition of dominant response tendencies. Most research on self-control has examined the inhibition of appetitive tendencies, and recent evidence suggests that stimulation to increase right frontal cortical activity helps to inhibit approach-motivated responses. The current experiment paired an approach–avoidance joystick task with transcranial DC stimulation to test the effects of brain stimulation on the inhibition of both approach and avoidance response tendencies. Anodal stimulation over the right/cathodal stimulation over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (compared to the opposite pattern of stimulation or sham stimulation) caused participants to initiate motive-incongruent movements more quickly, thereby suggesting a shared neural mechanism for the self-control of both approach- and avoidance-motivated impulses. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

The order of disorder: Deconstructing visual disorder and its effect on rule-breaking.


Disorderly environments are linked to disorderly behaviors. Broken windows theory (Wilson & Kelling, 1982), an influential theory of crime and rule-breaking, assumes that scene-level social disorder cues (e.g., litter, graffiti) cause people to reason that they can get away with breaking rules. But what if part of the story is not about such complex social reasoning? Recent research suggests that basic visual disorder cues may be sufficient to encourage complex rule-breaking behavior. To test this hypothesis, we first conducted a set of experiments (Experiments 1–3) in which we identified basic visual disorder cues that generalize across visual stimuli with a variety of semantic content. Our results revealed that spatial features (e.g., nonstraight edges, asymmetry) are more important than color features (e.g., hue, saturation, value) for visual disorder. Exploiting this knowledge, we then reconstructed stimuli contrasted in terms of visual disorder, but absent of scene-level social disorder cues, to test whether visual disorder alone encourages cheating in a second set of experiments (Experiments 4 and 5). In these experiments, manipulating visual disorder increased the likelihood of cheating by up to 35% and the average magnitude of cheating by up to 87%. This work suggests that theories of rule-breaking that assume that complex social reasoning (e.g., about norms, policing, poverty) is necessary, should be reconsidered (e.g., Kelling & Coles, 1997; Sampson & Raudenbush, 2004). Furthermore, these experiments show that simple perceptual properties of the environment can affect complex behavior and sheds light on the extent to which our actions are within our control. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Exposure to justice diminishes moral perception.


Evidence suggests that people have a lower threshold for the conscious awareness of moral words. Given the potential motivational relevance of moral concerns, the authors hypothesized and found that motivational relevance of moral stimuli enhanced the detection of moral words. People who saw a CrimeStoppers advertisement in which a majority (vs. minority) of wanted murderers had been brought to justice exhibited reduced detection of moral words (Experiment 1). Similarly, people who read that an assailant was arrested (vs. escaped punishment) exhibited reduced detection of moral words (Experiment 2). In both experiments, the effect of justice motives on moral word detection was specific to words presented near (vs. distant) to the threshold for perceptual awareness. These findings suggest that satiating (vs. activating) justice motives can reduce the frequency with which moral (vs. non-moral) words reach perceptual awareness. Implications for models of moral psychology, particularly the role of perception in morality, are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)