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Volume 9 Issue 3 (2013)

Conceptions about the mindbody problem and their relations to afterlife beliefs, paranormal beliefs, religiosity, and ontological confusions original article

pp. 112-120 | First published on 24 October 2013 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0138-5

Tapani Riekki, Marjaana Lindeman, Jari Lipsanen


We examined lay people's conceptions about the relationship between mind and body and their correlates. in study 1, a web survey (N = 850) of reflective dualistic, emergentistic, and monistic perceptions of the mind-body relationship, afterlife beliefs (i.e., common sense dualism), religiosity, paranormal beliefs, and ontological confusions about physical, biological, and psychological phenomena was conducted. In study 2 (N = 73), we examined implicit ontological confusions and their relations to afterlife beliefs, paranormal beliefs, and religiosity. Correlation and regression analyses showed that reflective dualism, afterlife beliefs, paranormal beliefs, and religiosity were strongly and positively related and that reflective dualism and afterlife beliefs mediated the relationship between ontological confusions and religious and paranormal beliefs. The results elucidate the contention that dualism is a manifestation of universal cognitive processes related to intuitions about physical, biological, and psychological phenomena by showing that especially individuals who confuse the distinctive attributes of these phenomena tend to set the mind apart from the body.

Keywords: dualism, mind-body problem, ontological confusions, religiosity, paranormal beliefs

Attitudes and cognitive distances: On the non-unitary and flexible nature of cognitive maps original article

pp. 121-129 | First published on 24 October 2013 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0140-y

Claus-Christian Carbon, Vera M. Hesslinger


Spatial relations of our environment are represented in cognitive maps. These cognitive maps are prone to various distortions (e.g., alignment and hierarchical effects) caused by basic cognitive factors (such as perceptual and conceptual reorganization) but also by affectively loaded and attitudinal influences. Here we show that even differences in attitude towards a single person representing a foreign country (here Barack Obama and the USA) can be related to drastic differences in the cognitive representation of distances concerning that country. Europeans who had a positive attitude towards Obama's first presidential program estimated distances between US and European cities as being much smaller than did people who were skeptical or negative towards Obama?s ideas. On the basis of this result and existing literature, arguments on the non-unitary and flexible nature of cognitive maps are discussed.

Keywords: cognitive geography, cognitive distortions, cognitive map, heuristics, social attitudes, continental drift, obama, mental wall, distance estimations, distortion, bias

Simultaneous and preceding sounds enhance rapid visual targets: Evidence from the attentional blink original article

pp. 130-142 | First published on 24 October 2013 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0139-4

Cornelia Kranczioch, Jeremy D. Thorne


Presenting two targets in a rapid visual stream will frequently result in the second target (T2) being missed when presented shortly after the first target (T1). this so-called attentional blink (AB) phenomenon can be reduced by various experimental manipulations. This study investigated the effect of combining T2 with a non-specific sound, played either simultaneously with T2 or preceding T2 by a fixed latency. The reliability of the observed effects and their correlation with potential predictors were studied. The tone significantly improved T2 identification rates regardless of tone condition and of the delay between targets, suggesting that the crossmodal facilitation of T2 identification is not limited to visual-perceptual enhancement. For the simultaneous condition, an additional time-ontask effect was observed in form of a reduction of the AB that occurred within an experimental session. Thus, audition-driven enhancement of visual perception may need some time for its full potential to evolve. Split-half and test-retest reliability were found consistently only for a condition without additional sound. AB magnitude obtained in this condition was related to AB magnitudes obtained in both sound conditions.Self-reported distractibility and performance in tests of divided attention and of cognitive flexibility correlated with the AB magnitudes of a subset but never all conditions under study. Reliability and correlation results suggest that not only dispositional abilities but also state factors exert an influence on AB magnitude. These findings extend earlier work on audition-driven enhancement of target identification in the AB and on the reliability and behavioural correlates of the AB.

Keywords: attentional blink, sound, tone, practice, crossmodal facilitation, reliability

More than meets the eye: The attentional blink in multisensory environments. Commentary on Kranczioch and Thorne original article

pp. 143-145 | First published on 24 October 2013 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0141-x

Till R. Schneider


Temporal fluctuations of attention can influence performance of cognitive tasks substantially. A common paradigm to investigate temporal fluctuations of attention is the attentional blink paradigm. Kranczioch and Thorne (2013) report new evidence for the impact of auditory stimuli on the visual attentional blink in the current issue of Advances in Cognitive Psychology.

Keywords: attentional blink, cross-modal, auditoryvisual, reliability

An orienting response is not enough: Bivalency not infrequency causes the bivalency effect original article

pp. 146-155 | First published on 24 October 2013 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0142-9

Alodie Rey-Mermet, Beat Meier


When switching tasks, occasionally responding to bivalent stimuli (i.e., stimuli with relevant features for two different tasks) slows performance on subsequent univalent stimuli, even when they do not share relevant features with bivalent stimuli. this performance slowing is labelled the . Here, we investigated whether the bivalency effect results from an orienting response to the infrequent stimuli (i.e., the bivalent stimuli). To this end, we compared the impact of responding to infrequent univalent stimuli to the impact of responding to infrequent bivalent stimuli. For the latter, the results showed a performance slowing for all trials following bivalent stimuli. This indicates a long-lasting bivalency effect, replicating previous findings. For infrequent univalent stimuli, however, the results showed a smaller and shorter-lived performance slowing. These results demonstrate that the bivalency effect does not simply reflect an orienting response to infrequent stimuli. Rather it results from the conflict induced by bivalent stimuli, probably by episodic binding with the more demanding context created by them.

Keywords: bivalent stimuli, task switching, cognitive control, episodic context binding