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The effects of cognitive load during intertrial intervals on judgements of control: the role of working memory and contextual learning

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Show simple item record Cavus, H.A. Msetfi, Rachel M. 2016-11-18T14:30:36Z 2016
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract When there is no contingency between actions and outcomes, but outcomes occur frequently, people tend to judge that they have control over those outcomes, a phenomenon known as the outcome density (OD) effect. Recent studies show that the OD effect depends on the duration of the temporal interval between action-outcome conjunctions, with longer intervals inducing stronger effects. However, under some circumstances OD effect is reduced, for example when participants are mildly depressed. We reasoned that Working Memory (WM) plays an important role in learning of context; with reduced WM capacity to process contextual information during intertrial intervals (ITIs) during contingency learning might lead to reduced OD effects (limited capacity hypothesis). To test this, we used a novel dualtask procedure that increases the WM load during the ITIs of an operant (e.g., actionoutcome) contingency learning task to impact contextual learning. We tested our hypotheses in groups of students with zero (Experiments 1, N= 34), and positive contingencies (Experiment 2, N= 34). The findings indicated that WM load during the ITIs reduced the OD effects compared to no load conditions (Experiment 1 and 2). In Experiment 2, we observed reduced OD effects on action judgements under high load in zero and positive contingencies. However, the participants’ judgements were still sensitive to the difference between zero and positive contingencies. We discuss the implications of our findings for the effects of depression and context in contingency learning. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Elsevier en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Acta Psychologica;171, pp. 47-56
dc.rights This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Acta Psychologica. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Acta Psychologica, 171, pp. 47-56, en_US
dc.subject contingency learning en_US
dc.subject perceived control en_US
dc.subject working memory load en_US
dc.subject associative learning en_US
dc.subject depressive learning en_US
dc.title The effects of cognitive load during intertrial intervals on judgements of control: the role of working memory and contextual learning en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1016/j.actpsy.2016.09.005 2018-09-20
dc.embargo.terms 2018-09-20 en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US

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