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Judgement and decission making

Friday, September 30th,   2011 [17:20 - 19:20]

PS_1.055 - Split-second decisions: Emotional modulation effect on response bias activation in weapon identification

Luini, L. P. , Marucci, F. S. & Mastroberardino, S.

Psychology Department "Sapienza" - University of Rome; Italy

Cognitive psychology research focused on the relationship between automatic and controlled cognition referred to split-second decisions (Payne, 2001) and examined the effect that race as ethnic group factor leading to a response bias had on shooting decisions using videogame-like tasks (Correll et al., 2002, 2006). A weapon bias was reported in judgment denoted as a perceptual weapon/tool classification (Payne, 2001) and as a behavioural shoot/do not shoot decision (Correll et al., 2002; Greenwald et al., 2003). The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of arousal, valence and content of IAPS pictures on measures of perceptive sensitivity (d’), response bias and RT. Four weapon identification tasks were performed manipulating emotional and arousing contents of visual stimuli. Results showed a significant interaction between valence and prime on: 1) Criterion (C); 2) hit and false alarm rate; 3) RT. A significant effect of arousal on Criterion (C) was found and an amplification of effect size was observed when visual stimuli with negative valence represented crime or violence scenes as compared to non-crime or non-violence ones. Findings are consistent with the hypothesis that affective modulation influences response bias activation and performance, and that content of stimuli amplifies the effect size.

PS_1.056 - Pain-related goal conflict under uncertainty: Its effect on decision making behaviour and pain perception

Schrooten, M. 1, 2 & Vlaeyen, J. 1, 2

1 Maastricht University, The Netherlands
2 University of Leuven, Belgium

Decision making is often accompanied by intra-personal conflicts between incompatible goals. Little is known about the functional role of goal conflicts in pain. Therefore, this study examined the effects of pain-related goal conflicts on choice patterns and pain perception. Seventy five undergraduates performed a choice task with on every trial a certain probability of delivery of painful stimulation and/or money. In each trial, participants choose between decreasing the probability of receiving painful stimulation vs. increasing the probability of receiving money (approach-approach conflict), between increasing the probability of receiving painful stimulation vs. decreasing the probability of receiving money (avoidance-avoidance), between increasing vs. decreasing both probabilities (approach/avoidance-approach/avoidance). Following each choice, there was 80% chance that probabilities changed. For each stimulation delivered, participants rated painfulness, unpleasantness, threat value, and fear of a subsequent painful stimulus. Mood was rated four times throughout the task. Conflict strength was derived from choice latency and number of switches between choice alternatives. First results suggest that in the avoidance-avoidance conflict situation, the number of switches predicted pain-related threat and fear, with these effects being mediated by current mood. This finding supports a motivational view on pain, focussing on pain perception and behavior in the context of multiple goals.

PS_1.057 - Perceptual decision-making: Information integration or a two stage process?

Keuken, M. 1, 2 , Forstmann, B. U. 1 & Van Maanen, L. 1

1 Cognitive Science Center Amsterdam, University of Amserdam, Amsterdam; The Netherlands
2 MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig; Germany

A popular paradigm in perceptual decision-making is the random-dot motion task (RDM). In this task participants have to indicate the direction of motion of a cloud of moving dots. Typically, the targets are perpendicular to the central axis, but previous research has shown that the location of targets influences the decision-making process. In Experiment 1 participants performed an RDM task with different target locations. We found that behavior becomes faster and more accurate when the angular distance between the targets increases to 90 degrees but inverts when the distance increases more. There are two possible explanations for this pattern. The first is that motion perception is a two-stage process in which first the movement axis is determined, and then the direction of motion. The second is that information on the movement axis and the motion-direction is integrated over time until a choice is made. In Experiment 2, these explanations were tested by letting participants rate their confidence after each choice. According to the two-stage process, we predicted an increase in confidence ratings for incorrect choices with an increasing angular distance. According to the information integration, the opposite pattern was expected. Results from experiment 2 clearly favor the information integration explanation.

PS_1.058 - The speed and accuracy of perceptual decision making in a Random-Tones Pitch task

Mulder, M. J. , Forstmann, B. U. & Wagenmakers, E.

Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Plantage Muidergracht 24, 1018TV Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Research in perceptual decision making is dominated by paradigms that tap the visual system. For example, a popular paradigm used to measure the speed and accuracy of a perceptual decision is the random-dots motion (RDM) task. In this task, participants have to decide quickly whether a ╩╗cloud╩╝ of dots is moving to the left or to the right on a computer screen. Although this two-alternative forced choice task has proven to be extremely useful to study simple decision processes, results are limited to the visual modality. To investigate whether the underlying dynamics of perceptual decisions apply to the auditory field as well, we developed an auditory version of the RDM paradigm where tones correspond to dots and pitch corresponds to motion. Psychophysical features underlying the auditory stimulus were kept similar to those used in the visual task. We will show that the stimulus strength of the random-tones pitch (RTP) task has a similar effect on the speed and accuracy of a perceptual decision. Furthermore, by combining the two tasks we will be able to investigate the effects of simultaneously presented audio and visual stimuli on the decision process. Results will help understand how humans use information from different modalities to optimize their choice behavior.

PS_1.059 - The cognitive strategies of expert poetry composition

Beatty, E. & Ball, L.

Lancaster University

Poetry composition represents an excellent, if understudied, domain to examine from a cognitive perspective. It requires idea generation, balancing choices amongst multiple options, planning, revision and finally evaluation. While anyone can write a poem it takes a certain set of skills to write a good poem. Our research methodology is twofold. First, we have been conducting interviews with poets to gather reflective data on their creative processes and sources of inspiration. Second, we have been conducting laboratory-based studies of expert poets undertaking writing tasks while verbally reporting their thoughts using a ‘think aloud’ technique. The results of our studies indicated that initial idea generation is quite associative and is often related to items or instances that are close in proximity and/or time to the poet. Once an idea has been selected a search is again conducted focused around that idea and during this process an initial line is produced. This first line is greatly influential to the progress of the poem. While the writing is ongoing the poets seem to engage in self-questioning behaviour in response to writing blocks. It is the value and impact of the self directed questions that are explored in this analysis.

PS_1.060 - The monitoring of task conflict and response conflict

Braverman, A. & Meiran, N.

Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Be'er Sheva, Israel

Using a task switching paradigm, the authors independently manipulated two kinds of conflict: task conflict (with information that potentially triggers the relevant or the competing task rule/identity) and response conflict (with information potentially triggering the relevant or the competing manual response). Blocks with high/low proportion of task/response conflict trials were included. It was found that performance was poorer with conflict than without conflict, indicating task conflict effect (TCE) and response conflict effect (RCE). Importantly, the RCE diminished in blocks with high proportion of conflict trials, regardless of conflict type whereas the TCE was unaffected. Implications for theories of conflict monitoring are discussed.

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