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Volume 17 Issue 2 (2021)

The Effects of Culture and View of Aging on Perspective Taking in Young Adults

pp. 99-106
First published on 21 May 2021 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0320-8
Christie Chung
Corresponding author:
Christie Chung, Mills College Psychology Department, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613.
Chung, C. (2021). The effects of culture and view of aging on perspective taking in young adults. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 17(2), 99-106.

Young adults’ ability to recall a story about others, especially of an older adult, may be influenced by culture-based views on aging. In the present study, we extended a perspective-taking paradigm designed by Sullivan et al. (2010) by adding a cultural component to the methodology and testing participants’ perspective-taking performance. Participants from the United States and Hong Kong heard two stories about a 25-year-old and a 75-year-old character from either location. Overall, we found that both groups recalled more negative than positive events. However, Hong Kong participants, who showed a more negative view of aging than US participants, used more negative words to describe the older adult than the young adult story. These findings suggest an intricate relationship between culture-based views of aging and the language used in the recall of emotional events.

Keywords: age, culture, perspective-taking, memory

Affective Modulation of Working Memory Maintenance: The Role of Positive and Negative Emotions

pp. 107-116
First published on 21 May 2021 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0321-7
Ahu Gokce, Artyom Zinchenko, Efsun Annac, Markus Conci, Thomas Geyer
Corresponding author:
Ahu Gokce, Department of Psychology, Kadir Has, University, Cibali Mah. Hisaralti Cad. No: 17, 34083 Istanbul, Turkey, Email:
Gokce, A., Zinchenko, A., Annac, E., Conci, M., & Geyer, T. (2021). Affective modulation of working memory maintenance: The role of positive and negative emotions. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 17(2), 107-116.

The present study investigated the impact of task-irrelevant emotional images on the retention of information in spatial working memory (WM). Two experiments employed a delayed matching to-sample task where participants had to maintain the locations of four briefly presented squares. After a short retention interval, a probe item appeared and participants were required to indicate whether the probe position matched one of the previously occupied square positions. During the retention interval, task-irrelevant negative, positive, or neutral emotional pictures were presented. The results revealed a dissociation between negative and positive affect on the participants’ ability to hold spatial locations in WM. While negative affective pictures reduced WM capacity, positive pictures increased WM capacity relative to the neutral images. Moreover, the specific valence and arousal of a given emotional picture was also related to WM performance: While higher valence enhanced WM capacity, higher levels of arousal in turn reduced WM capacity. Together, our findings suggest that emotions up- or down-regulate attention to items in WM and thus modulate the short-term storage of visual information in memory.

Keywords: spatial working memory, retention, IAPS pictures, delayed matching-to-sample task

Cognitive Reflection and Theory of Mind of Go Players

pp. 117-128
First published on 21 May 2021 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0322-6
Marc Oliver Rieger, Mei Wang
Corresponding author:
Marc Oliver Rieger, University of Trier, Chair of Banking and Finance, 54286 Trier, Germany.
Rieger, M. O., & Wang, M. (2021). Cognitive reflection and theory of mind of Go players. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 17(2), 117-128.

Go is a classical Chinese mind game and a highly popular intellectual pursuit in East Asia. In a survey at two Go tournaments (one of them the largest in Europe), we measured cognitive reflection and decision in strategic games (using the classical “beauty contest” game) (N = 327). We found that Go players in our survey had outstanding average cognitive reflection test (CRT) scores: 2.51 among all participants and 2.80 among players of high master level (dan). This value easily outperforms previous measurements, for example, of undergraduates at top universities. The CRT score was closely related to the playing strength, but not to the frequency of playing. On the other hand, frequent players tended to have higher theory of mind, regardless of their playing strengths. However, self-reported patience was not statistically significantly correlated with Go strength or playing frequency.

Keywords: cognitive reflection test, theory of mind, patience, board games, Go, weiqi, baduk, chess

Perspective-Taking and Social Competence in Adults

pp. 129-135
First published on 7 June 2021 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0323-5
Katharine A. McGarry, Melanie West, Kevin F. Hogan
Corresponding author:
Katharine A. McGarry, School of Psychology, Newman University, Genners Lane, Bartley Green B32 3NT, United Kingdom.
McGarry, K. A., West, M., & Hogan, K. F. (2021). Perspective-taking and social competence in adults. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 17(2), 129-135.

Theory of mind (ToM) research assumes an idealized ability in adults (Begeer et al., 2010). Links between ToM and social skills are often presupposed and some researchers argue that claims about the relationship between the two are often broad and unjustified (Hughes & Leekam, 2004; Liddle & Nettle, 2006). Perspective-taking (PT) has been heavily implicated in social cognition (Ruby & Decety, 2004) and is commonly placed under the title of ToM (Baron-Cohen, 2000). However, it is suggested that ToM and PT are not the same skills and may in fact be two distinct forms of social cognition (Cutting & Dunn, 1999). The current study explored the relationship between PT and social skills within a typically developed adult population. Eighty participants completed the Social Skills Inventory (SSI, Riggio & Carney, 2003) in addition to a computerised PT task. Greater PT ability was associated with greater social ability. Expressivity and control scores were predicted by PT ability, indicating that greater PT ability is predictive of greater control skills and expressivity skills in individuals and vice versa. Greater emotional intelligence has been associated with superior PT ability and higher expressivity in individuals (Goleman, 1995; Schutte et al., 2001). We suggest that emotional intelligence could be contributing to the relationship between expressivity and PT. Additionally, as both control behaviors and PT abilities place a demand on cognitive resources (Richards & Gross, 2000; Surtees et al., 2016), we argue that the same executive processes are utilized in both abilities.

Keywords: perspective-taking, social competence, Theory of Mind

Tasks financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education on the basis of the contract no. 801/P-DUN/2018 out of the funds designed for activities promoting science: Preparation and editing of English versions of articles, Financing foreign Editors-in-Chief, Dissemination of publications and increasing their accessibility to a broad range of readers, Creation of the XML conversion platform to improve the access to the articles (2018-2019).

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