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Volume 16 Issue 2 (2020)

Sense of Agency in Multi-Step Actions

pp. 85-91
First published on 8 April 2020 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0287-2
Patricia Garrido-Vásquez, Tanja Rock
Corresponding author:
Patricia Garrido-Vásquez Schmidt, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Concepción, Barrio Universitario, Concepción, Chile.
Garrido-Vásquez, P., & Rock, T. (2020). Sense of Agency in Multi-Step Actions. Advances in cognitive psychology, 16(2), 85-91.

In our daily lives, we frequently execute actions that require several steps to bring about the outcome. However, investigations on how the sense of agency—the sense of controlling our actions and their outcomes—evolves in multi-step actions are still lacking. The purpose of the present research is to fill this gap. In the present study, the participants executed one-step, two-step, and three-step actions in which one, two, or three keys had to be pressed consecutively to generate a tone. We used sensory attenuation as an implicit measure of the sense of agency. Sensory attenuation means that self-produced sensory effects are perceived as less intense than externally generated effects. In the present experiment, sensory attenuation was measured in a psychophysical paradigm and increased in multi-step actions compared to the one-step action. We also asked the participants to explicitly rate the amount to which they felt that they had generated the tone. Ratings were highest in the one-step condition and dropped for multi-step actions, thus showing the opposite pattern of the sensory attenuation data. We assume that enhanced sensory attenuation in multi-step actions could be due to increased effort or more accurate sensorimotor predictions of action effects. The decrease in explicit ratings for multi-step actions might be attributed to reduced perception of causality.

Keywords: sense of agency, implicit, explicit, sensory attenuation, multi-step actions

Sex Differences in Verbal Fluency Among Young Adults

pp. 92-102
First published on 9 April 2020 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0288-1
Andrzej Sokołowski, Ernest Tyburski, Anna Sołtys, Ewa Karabanowicz
Corresponding author:
Institute of Psychology, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Kutrzeby 10, 61-719 Poznań, Poland.
Sokołowski, A., Tyburski, E., Sołtys, A., & Karabanowicz, E. (2020). Sex Differences in Verbal Fluency Among Young Adults. Advances in cognitive psychology, 16(2), 92-102.

Verbal fluency tasks have been used as tools to measure various cognitive processes, such as executive functions, memory, and language. Sex differences in verbal fluency performance have been mostly investigated in population studies. Little of this research has focused on young adults. The goal of this study was to assess the impact of sex and task category on word production and verbal strategies (i.e., cluster size and switches) in young adults. The phonemic (letter “k”, letter “f”) and semantic (animals, fruits, sharp objects) fluency measures were used. Men and women were compared in terms of the number of produced words and the use of verbal strategies (number of switches and mean cluster size controlled for produced words). Results revealed subtle sex differences in verbal fluency in young adults. Men performed slightly better in semantic fluency, producing more words, while there were no sex differences in verbal strategies. There were also no sex differences in word production and verbal strategies in the phonemic fluency tasks. Furthermore, there were differences in the number of produced words, mean cluster sizes, and switches between semantic tasks as well as between phonemic tasks. These results can be interpreted in the context of potential differences in mental lexicon and social roles. Moreover, our results suggest that assessment of verbal strategies and overall word production may be important in the context of sex differences in verbal fluency among young adults as well as in neuropsychological diagnosis.

Keywords: verbal fluency, switching, clustering, sex differences, individual differences

Early Departure, Early Revival: A "Free From Care" Account of Negative Temporal Discounting

pp. 103-116
First published on 26 April 2020 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0289-0
Hai-Long Sun, Ai-Mei Li, Si-Chu Shen, Guan-Xing Xiong, Li-Lin Rao, Rui Zheng, Hong-Yue Sun, Shu Li
Corresponding author:

Shu Li, CAS Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.

Hong-Yue Sun, College of Education, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai, China.

Sun, H. L., Li, A. M., Shen, S. C., Xiong, G. X., Rao, L. L., Zheng, R., Sun, H. Y., & Li, S. (2020). Early Departure, Early Revival: A ''Free From Care'' Account of Negative Temporal Discounting. Advances in cognitive psychology, 16(2), 103-116.

According to the positive temporal discounting theory and our relevant observations, when faced with future losses, people should, and do, prefer delayed negative events (e.g., deferring paying taxes, debts, or tickets), which can lead to substantial individual and societal costs. However, a counterexample has been identified and it appears to depart from the prediction of positive temporal discounting when faced with negative events. This study proposed and investigated the novel free from care account for the reverse preference. Results of five laboratory and field studies showed that students preferred an immediate negative event (i.e., an English oral exam) when “something tying one up” was imposed, in which coping with a distraction induced by such a situation could play a mediating role. In particular, the addition of “something tying one up” was found to be an effective behavioral nudge in terms of reliability and reproducibility and should be simple for potential users to follow. Specifically, the association between being tied up and undergoing a negative event immediately in the present studies mirrored the association between outgroup threat and intergroup cooperation in the Robbers Cave experiment.

Analysis of Factor Validity of the Support Intensity Scale on Bosnian–Herzegovinian Sample

pp. 117-130
First published on 26 April 2020 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0290-x
Alma Dizdarevic, Zulfo Ahmetovic, Daniel Malec, Amila Mujezinovic, Melika Ahmetovic, Fata Zilic, Senad Mehmedinovic
Corresponding author:
Alma Dizdarević Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation, University of Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Dizdarevic, A., Ahmetovic, Z., Malec, D., Mujezinovic, A., Ahmetovic, M., Zilic, F., & Mehmedinovic, S. (2020). Analysis of Factor Validity of the Support Intensity Scale on Bosnian-Herzegovinian Sample. Advances in cognitive psychology, 16(2), 117-130.

Since the development of the original Support Intensity Scale—Adult Version (SIS-A) and the Support Intensity Scale—Child Version (SIS-C), the interest in supporting people with intellectual disabilities (ID) has changed. Resource allocation, better quality of resource utilization in the rehabilitation process, the development of support systems, and redefining the roles of organizations that support people with ID are just some of the changes. The aim of this study was to determine the factor structure of the SIS-C conducted on a sample of Bosnian–Herzegovinian (B&H) children (SISC B&H). The study included 377 children ID in B&H, aged 5-16. The data was analyzed with the SPSS 21 software (with the AMOS package). Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was used to examine the factor structure of the SIS-C. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was applied to determine the factor and constructive validity of SIS-C B&H. The CFA results indicated a poor fit of both the theoretical and empirical models even after modifications were made. The EFA showed the opposite results. This could be explained by the fact that within the factor solutions obtained from the EFA, various aslope or orthogonal models, linear or hierarchical, can be constructed. Among these models, some exhibited good fit to the data. Thus, data from the current study could be used to generate new hypotheses and deliver more conclusive answers.

Keywords: intellectual disability, support intensity, validity

Response Priming with Horizontally and Vertically Moving Primes: A Comparison of German, Malaysian, and Japanese Subjects

pp. 131-149
First published on 26 April 2020 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0291-y
Christina Bermeitinger, Laura Kalbfleisch, Katharina Schäfer, Alfred Lim, Hannah Goymann, Lea Reuter, Steve M. J. Janssen
Corresponding author:
Christina Bermeitinger, University of Hildesheim, Department of Psychology, Universitätsplatz 1, D - 31141 Hildesheim, Germany.
Bermeitinger, C., Kalbfleisch, L., Schäfer, K., Lim, A., Goymann, H., Reuter, L., & Janssen, S. (2020). Response Priming with Horizontally and Vertically Moving Primes: A Comparison of German, Malaysian, and Japanese Subjects. Advances in cognitive psychology, 16(2), 131-149.

Response priming refers to the finding that a prime preceding a target influences the response to the target. With German subjects, horizontally moving dots as primes, and static arrows as targets, there are typically faster responses to compatible (i.e., prime and target are associated with the same response) as compared to incompatible targets (i.e., positive compatibility effect, PCE) with short stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs). In contrast, with longer SOAs, subjects respond faster to incompatible as compared to compatible targets (i.e., negative compatibility effect, NCE). In the present study, we extended the evidence by adding vertically oriented materials. Furthermore, we tested subjects from Malaysia and Japan, where the vertical orientation is more present in daily life, and compared them to German subjects to investigate whether the amount of experience with one orientation influences the compatibility effects on this orientation. Overall, we found pronounced PCEs in the short SOA (i.e., 150 ms) but only reduced PCEs in the longer SOAs (i.e., 350, 550, and 750 ms) across all countries and orientations. There were no differences between the German and Malaysian samples, but the Japanese sample showed larger PCEs in the longer SOAs compared to both other samples. Furthermore, we found larger PCEs for horizontal than vertical materials in the short SOA and larger PCEs for vertical than horizontal materials in the longer SOAs. We discuss our findings in light of theories and findings on compatibility effects as well as attentional mechanisms.

Keywords: response priming, motion, movement, negative compatibility effect, inhibition, cultural differences, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, horizontal and vertical motion

How Does Knowledge About an Artist’s Disability Change the Aesthetic Experience?

pp. 150-159
First published on 8 May 2020 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0292-z
Magdalena Szubielska, Kamil Imbir, Agnieszka Fudali-Czyż, Paweł Augustynowicz
Corresponding author:
Magdalena Szubielska, Institute of Psychology, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Al. Racławickie 14, 20-950 Lublin, Poland.
Szubielska, M., Imbir, K., Fudali-Czyż, A., & Augustynowicz, P. (2020). How Does Knowledge About an Artist's Disability Change the Aesthetic Experience?. Advances in cognitive psychology, 16(2), 150-159.

Based on concepts of cognitive mastering and the rewarding effect of making sense of challenging visual art (taken from a psychological model of aesthetic appreciation and aesthetic judgments of Leder et al., 2004), we hypothesised that viewers who have knowledge about an artist’s disability will appreciate their ambiguous works more than viewers who do not have such knowledge. Additionally, we aimed to explore how information about the artist’s disability changes the viewer’s aesthetic emotions. We investigated the effect of information on the creator’s visual disability on aesthetic experience in relation to three categories of visual art: photos, sculptures, and drawings. We showed digital reproductions of artworks (N = 32) produced by amateur artists with severe visual impairment to nonexperts in art (N = 145). Viewers assessed their aesthetic appreciation (understood as liking and value) and aesthetic emotions on the Self-Assessment Manikin scales for valence, arousal, dominance, origin, and significance. In accordance with our hypothesis, knowledge of the artists' disability had a positive influence on appreciation, but the effect of information was moderated by artwork category and was significant only in the case of sculptures and drawings (works created using these techniques were assessed in the preliminary study as more difficult to interpret than photos). A similar pattern of results was found for the dependent variables of arousal and significance. Therefore, the positive influence of information about the artists' disabilities on aesthetic experience is mainly revealed when the artworks are characterised by low detectability (defined as the difficulty in interpreting an artwork due to difficulty in recognizing what it depicts).

Cognitive Process Differences Between Moral Beauty Judgments and Moral Goodness Judgments

pp. 160-168
First published on 29 May 2020 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0293-9
Yanhui Xiang, Xue Wen, Jiaxu Zhao, Wenrui Zhang, Yiqi Jiang
Corresponding author:
Yanhui Xiang. Department of Psychology, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, 410081, China.
Xiang, Y., Wen, X., Zhao, J., Zhang, W., & Jiang, Y. (2020). Cognitive Process Differences Between Moral Beauty Judgments and Moral Goodness Judgments. Advances in cognitive psychology, 16(2), 160-168.

Goodness and beauty have always been important topics of debate in the field of philosophy and aesthetics. The present study used behavior and event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate whether moral beauty judgments and moral goodness judgments involve different cognitive processes or the same cognitive process under different language labels for the same human act. Behavioral results showed that individuals gave significantly higher scores for a beautiful face than an ugly face when making moral beauty judgments, but there were no significant differences between the two conditions when making moral goodness judgments. The ERP experiment displayed larger P2 amplitudes and the late positive potential (LPP) amplitude was elicited when displaying beautiful faces but not ugly faces during moral beauty judgments. However, during moral goodness judgments, the P2 and LPP showed no significant differences under the two conditions. In general, we conclude that moral beauty judgments and moral goodness judgments involve different cognitive processes, although they objectively refer to the same human act. One of the most important differences between moral beauty judgments and moral goodness judgments was that the former process involved an image, whereas the latter did not. The present conclusion provides important insights into the research in aesthetic perception and moral sense.

Keywords: moral beauty, moral goodness, perceived images

Feeling Other People's Pain: An Event-Related Potential Study on Facial Attractiveness and Emotional Empathy

pp. 167-175
First published on 29 May 2020 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0294-8
Natalia Kopiś, Piotr Francuz, Emilia Zabielska-Mendyk, Paweł Augustynowicz
Corresponding author:
Natalia Kopiś, Department of Experimental Psychology, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Al. Racławickie 14, 20-950 Lublin, Poland.
E-mail: natalia.kopis
Kopiś, N., Francuz, P., Zabielska-Mendyk, E., & Augustynowicz, P. (2020). Feeling Other People's Pain: An Event-Related Potential Study on Facial Attractiveness and Emotional Empathy. Advances in cognitive psychology, 16(2), 169-175.

Empathy is the ability to understand and react to other people's inner states. Neuroimaging evidence suggests that there are two aspects of empathy which are subserved by distinct brain networks. The emotional aspect of empathy is reflected by bottom-up processes and the cognitive aspect of empathy is influenced by top-down processes. Both aspects can be studied by measuring the reaction of participants exposed to the pictures of models who feel physical pain, for example, having a needle stuck in their cheek. The early event-related potential (ERP) N2 has been reported in observing other’s physical pain and has been suggested as a biomarker of the emotional aspect of empathy. The present study investigated the time course of processing other’s pain and the influence of face attractiveness on the early ERP component. Participants (N = 24) viewed photos of physically attractive and unattractive men and women during painful (a needle in the check) and nonpainful stimulation (Q-tip touching the skin). N1 and P2 components were sensitive to face attractiveness. The amplitude of the N2 component was more positive for the stimuli associated with pain than for neutral stimuli, but only for unattractive faces. Therefore, we suggest that a difference in the N2 amplitude to pain in unattractive faces most likely reflects a difference in emphatic response depending on facial attractiveness.

Keywords: emotional empathy, facial attractiveness, pain, ERP study

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). Advances in Cognitive Psychology is co-financed by the Ministry of Education and Science (Ministerstwo Edukacji i Nauki) under the program "Rozwój czasopism naukowych," RCN/SN/0494/2021/1.

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. Advances in Cognitive Psychology jest współfinansowane przez Ministerstwo Edukacji i Nauki w ramach programu "Rozwój czasopism naukowych," RCN/SN/0494/2021/1.