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Gepubliceerd in: Psychological Research 3/2014

01-05-2014 | Original Article

Analyzing distributional properties of interference effects across modalities: chances and challenges

Auteurs: Kerstin Dittrich, David Kellen, Christoph Stahl

Gepubliceerd in: Psychological Research | Uitgave 3/2014

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Abstract

In research investigating Stroop or Simon effects, data are typically analyzed at the level of mean response time (RT), with results showing faster responses for compatible than for incompatible trials. However, this analysis provides only limited information as it glosses over the shape of the RT distributions and how they may differ across tasks and experimental conditions. These limitations have encouraged the analysis of RT distributions using delta plots. In the present review, we aim to bring together research on distributional properties of auditory and visual interference effects. Extending previous reviews on distributional properties of the Simon effect, we additionally review studies reporting distributional analyses of Stroop effects. We show that distributional analyses of sequential effects (i.e., taking into account congruency of the previous trial) capture important similarities and differences of interference effects across tasks (Simon, Stroop) as well as across sensory modalities, despite some challenges associated to this approach.
Voetnoten
1
In the original task, the words “man” and “girl” were used. Here, we used the monosyllabic word “Frau” (woman) instead of “Mädchen” (girl) to maximize comparability with the word “Mann” (man). Participants first practiced the respective task with which they started during a block consisting of 40 trials. Subsequently, participants performed three experimental blocks of this task with 40 trials each. After completion of the first task, participants practiced the second task during one block of 40 trials and then performed three experimental blocks of the second task with 40 trials each. Twenty-four University of Freiburg students (13 women) participated for course credit or as paid volunteers; mean age was 26 years, ranging from 18 to 46 years.
 
2
The RT distribution was divided into nine bins; slopes of the individual delta plots were estimated via ordinary least-squares regression (see also Pratte et al., 2010).
 
3
We thank Mike Pratte for pointing out this interrelation.
 
4
Key mapping was counterbalanced across participants. Participants practiced the task in a block consisting of 24 trials. Subsequently, they performed two experimental blocks of 96 trials each. Twenty-four students from University of Freiburg (17 women) participated for course credit or as paid volunteers; mean age was 22 years, ranging from 19 to 34 years.
 
5
Note that a subtle modification such as using letters (A and B) as target stimuli in the visual Simon task might in fact represent a fundamental change to the nature of the task: One may ask whether the visual Simon task used by Wascher et al. (2001) in fact reflected a spatial Stroop task, because the letters A and B might be associated with left and right responses, respectively.
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Analyzing distributional properties of interference effects across modalities: chances and challenges
Auteurs
Kerstin Dittrich
David Kellen
Christoph Stahl
Publicatiedatum
01-05-2014
Uitgeverij
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Gepubliceerd in
Psychological Research / Uitgave 3/2014
Print ISSN: 0340-0727
Elektronisch ISSN: 1430-2772
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-014-0551-y

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