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Generalizing attentional control across dimensions and tasks: evidence from transfer of proportion-congruent effects


Generalizing attentional control across dimensions and tasks: evidence from transfer of proportion-congruent effects



Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 68(4): 779-801



ISSN/ISBN: 1747-0218

PMID: 25380403

DOI: 10.1080/17470218.2014.966729

Three experiments investigated transfer of list-wide proportion congruent (LWPC) effects from a set of congruent and incongruent items with different frequency (inducer task) to a set of congruent and incongruent items with equal frequency (diagnostic task). Experiments 1 and 2 mixed items from horizontal and vertical Simon tasks. Tasks always involved different stimuli that varied on the same dimension (colour) in Experiment 1 and on different dimensions (colour, shape) in Experiment 2. Experiment 3 mixed trials from a manual Simon task with trials from a vocal Stroop task, with colour being the relevant stimulus in both tasks. There were two major results. First, we observed transfer of LWPC effects in Experiments 1 and 3, when tasks shared the relevant dimension, but not in Experiment 2. Second, sequential modulations of congruency effects transferred in Experiment 1 only. Hence, the different transfer patterns suggest that LWPC effects and sequential modulations arise from different mechanisms. Moreover, the observation of transfer supports an account of LWPC effects in terms of list-wide cognitive control, while being at odds with accounts in terms of stimulus-response (contingency) learning and item-specific control.

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Accession: 053372086

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