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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

Exploring the Space-Calorie Association: Preliminary Evidence from Reaction Time Performance

pp. 136-148
First published on 30 June 2021 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0324-4
Emre Gurbuz, Ahu Gokce
Corresponding author:
Ahu Gokce, Department of Psychology, Kadir Has University, Cibali Mah. Hisaralti Cad. No: 17, 34083 Istanbul, Turkey.
Gurbuz, E., & Gokce, A. (2021). Exploring the space-calorie association: Preliminary evidence from reaction time performance. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 17(2), 136-148.

The present study was designed to investigate the representation of calorie levels in space. Previously an association between numerical magnitude and space has been established, namely, the Spatial Numerical Association of Response Codes (SNARC) effect. The spatial-numerical association reveals representation of smaller and larger numbers by the left and right sides, respectively. In addition, previous studies showed that spatial arrangement of foods in space affects the food selection behavior. In three experiments, the presence of an association between calorie magnitude and space was tested to understand how it could potentially affect food selection behavior. Reaction times were recorded to investigate the speed of information processing. In Experiment 1, locations of low and high calorie food stimuli were (in)congruent in terms of the space-calorie association. In Experiment 2, endogenous spatial cues were used to bias attention to investigate if this bias would lead to formation of the space-calorie association. Finally, Experiment 3 investigated whether green and red colors evoke approach or avoidance behavior and prevent formation of the space-calorie association. In all experiments, results revealed lack of an association between space and calorie, that is, presenting low/high calorie items on the left/right hemispace, respectively, did not modulate the processing speed.

Keywords: space-calorie association, high and low-calories, endogenous spatial cues, approach-avoidance mechanisms

Unique Mechanisms for the Availability of Declarative Memory Elements and the Strengthening of Cognitive Operations

pp. 149-160
First published on 30 June 2021 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0325-3
Dale A. Hirsch, Christopher A. Was, Erin N. Graham
Corresponding author:
Christopher A. Was, Department of Psychological Sciences, Kent State University, 144 Kent Hall, Kent, OH 44303.
Hirsch, D. A., Was, C. A., & Graham, E. N. (2021). Unique mechanisms for the availability of declarative memory elements and the strengthening of cognitive operations. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 17(2), 149-160.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of memory for prior cognitive operations and availability of declarative memory elements in long-term semantic priming. The impetus for this investigation was the role of working memory (WM) in complex cognitive processing. Empirical estimates of WM are too limited to explain complex cognitive processes. Therefore, contemporary models of WM propose access to long-term memory (LTM) to expand these limits. The priming literature provides one theoretical mechanism for access to LTM: long-term semantic priming. However, explanations for long-term semantic priming include both increased availability of LTM elements and the facilitation of prior cognitive operations. Our goal was to examine if the facilitation of prior cognitive operations is dependent on the availability of previously encountered LTM elements. A task used in previous research proposed to capture the facilitation of cognitive operations coupled with a directed forgetting manipulation was used to examine this relationship. Three experiments were conducted to that end. All experiments resulted in facilitation of the procedure of categorization. Experiments 1 and 2 additionally found relatively poor recognition for items that participants were told to forget despite the fact that categorization was facilitated for related items. Experiment 3 resulted in similarly poor recognition for category names that participants were told to forget. Taken together, the experiments in this investigation demonstrate a clear separation between the cognitive operations and declarative elements of the categorization task. Namely, the continued availability of declarative elements is not necessary for the subsequent facilitation of categorization operations.

Keywords: long-term semantic priming, working memory, available long-term memory, priming, directed forgetting

Neurocognitive Effects of Self-Determined Choice and Emotional Arousal on Time Estimation

pp. 161-175
First published on 30 June 2021 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0326-2
Christina J. Mueller, Franz Classe, Birgit Stürmer, Lars Kuchinke, Christine Stelzel
Corresponding author:
Christine Stelzel International Psychoanalytic University Stromstr. 1, 10555 Berlin, Germany.
Mueller, C. J., Classe, F., Stürmer, B., Kuchinke, L., & Stelzel, C. (2021). Neurocognitive effects of self-determined choice and emotional arousal on time estimation. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 17(2), 161-175.

Even though effects of emotion and motivation on cognition are well documented, the interaction of all three factors is rarely investigated. Here, we used electroencephalography (EEG) to examine the effects of self-determined choice—as an experimental manipulation of intrinsic motivation - and emotional stimulus content on task preparation and engagement in a temporal production task. Behavioral results indicated a modulation of time processing depending on choice and emotional content. Underlying EEG signals revealed differential modulations by choice on the contingent negative variation (CNV) during task and response preparation and by emotional content on the late positive potential (LPP) in response to the onset of an emotional picture during temporal production. Also, we obtained preliminary evidence for interaction effects of choice and emotional content on the LPP. The feedback-related negativity (FRN) in response to information regarding temporal production success was also affected by interactions of choice and emotional content. These findings indicate that besides separate effects of motivation and emotion, there may be time windows during task engagement in which both factors jointly affect cognitive processing. These results are interpreted as dynamic modulations of attentional resource allocation.

Keywords: motivation, autonomy, emotion, CNV, LPP, FRN

Face Adaptation Effects on Non-Configural Face Information

pp. 176-192
First published on 30 June 2021 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0327-1
Ronja Mueller, Sandra Utz, Claus-Christian Carbon, Tilo Strobach
Corresponding author:
Ronja Mueller, Medical School Hamburg, Department of Psychology, Am Kaiserkai 1, 20457 Hamburg, Germany.
Mueller, R., Utz, S., Carbon, C.-C., & Strobach, T. (2021). Face adaptation effects on non-configural face information. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 17(2), 176-192.

Inspecting new visual information in a face can affect the perception of subsequently seen faces. In experimental settings for example, previously seen manipulated versions of a face can lead to a clear bias of the participant’s perception of subsequent images: Original images are then perceived as manipulated in the opposite direction of the adaptor while images that are more similar to the adaptor are perceived as normal or natural. These so-called face adaptation effects can be a useful tool to provide information about which facial information is processed and stored in facial memory. Most experiments so far used variants of the second-order relationship configural information (e.g., spatial relations between facial features) when investigating these effects. However, non-configural face information (e.g., color) was mainly neglected when focusing on face adaptation, although this type of information plays an important role in face processing. Therefore, we investigated adaptation effects of non-configural face information by employing brightness alterations. Our results provide clear evidence for brightness adaptation effects (Experiment 1). These effects are face-specific to some extent (Experiments 2 and 3) and robust over time (Experiments 4 and 5). They support the assumption that non-configural face information is not only relevant in face perception but also in face retention. Brightness information seems to be stored in memory and thus is even involved in face recognition.

Keywords: face adaptation, face perception, face memory, non-configural face information

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).

Zadania finansowane w ramach umowy 801/P-DUN/2018 ze środków Ministra Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego przeznaczonych na działalność upowszechniającą naukę: Finansowanie zagranicznych redaktorów naczelnych; Przygotowanie i edycja anglojęzycznych publikacji; Upowszechnianie publikacji i ułatwianie dostępu do nich szerokiemu gronu odbiorców; Utworzenie nowej platformy do udostępniania artykułów.