Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

Provides broad range of topics in all areas of experimental psychology. The journal publishes theory and review articles, reports on experimental work, and coverage of methods in all areas.

Articles from Vol. 14, No. 2, April

Aging and a Benefit of Distractibility
Under instructions to ignore distraction, younger and older adults read passages with interspersed distracting words. Some of the distractors served as solutions to a subsequent set of verbal problems in which three weakly related words could be related...
Amnesia, Rehearsal, and Temporal Distinctiveness Models of Recall
Classical amnesia involves selective memory impairment for temporally distant items in free recall (impaired primacy) together with relative preservation of memory for recency items. This abnormal serial position curve is traditionally taken as evidence...
Cognitive Tutor: Applied Research in Mathematics Education
For 25 years, we have been working to build cognitive models of mathematics, which have become a basis for middle- and high-school curricula. We discuss the theoretical background of this approach and evidence that the resulting curricula are more effective...
Controlling Lexical Contributions to the Reading of Pseudohomophones
Reynolds and Besner (2005) presented a computational account of six effects that emerge when readers are asked to pronounce pseudohomophones (nonwords-e.g., brane-that sound like words when pronounced). In the dual route cascaded (DRC) model of reading,...
Counting the Cost of an Absent Mind: Mind Wandering as an Underrecognized Influence on Educational Performance
Successful learning requires that individuals integrate information from the external environment with their own internal representations. In this article, we consider the role that mind wandering plays in education. Mind wandering represents a state...
Did You Witness Demonic Possession? A Response Time Analysis of the Relationship between Event Plausibility and Autobiographical Beliefs
This study tested the hypothesis that the search for information pertinent to answering the question "Did event x happen to you?" is preceded by a preliminary plausibility assessment, the outcome of which affects the amount of effort invested in the...
Distractor Interference Stays Constant despite Variation in Working Memory Load
Previous studies have shown that working memory (WM) plays an important role in selective attention, so that high WM load leads to inefficient distractor inhibition, in comparison with low WM load. In the present study, we examined the effect of WM on...
Does Remembering Emotional Items Impair Recall of Same-Emotion Items?
In the part-set cuing effect, cuing a subset of previously studied items impairs recall of the remaining noncued items. This experiment reveals that cuing participants with previously-studied emotional pictures (e.g., fear-evoking pictures of people)...
Editorial
This special section of Psychonomic Bulletin & Review was inspired by a symposium that Ayanna Thomas and I organized for the 2005 meeting of the Psychonomic Society. The symposium focused on new research that applied basic topics in cognitive psychology...
Enhancing Learning and Retarding Forgetting: Choices and Consequences
Our research on learning enhancement has been focusing on the consequences for learning and forgetting of some of the more obvious and concrete choices that arise in instruction, including questions such as these: How does spacing of practice affect...
Generalizing Test-Enhanced Learning from the Laboratory to the Classroom
Test-enhanced learning refers to the fact that taking an initial test on studied material enhances its later retention relative to simply studying the material and then taking a final test. Most research on the testing effect has been done with materials...
Illusory Colors Promote Interocular Grouping during Binocular Rivalry
When dissimilar monocular images are presented separately to each of a person's eyes, these images compete for visual dominance, with dominance of one image or the other alternating over time. While this phenomenon, called binocular rivalry, transpires,...
Improving the Writing Skills of College Students
Advanced writing skills are an important aspect of academic performance as well as of subsequent work-related performance. However, American students rarely attain advanced scores on assessments of writing skills (National Assessment of Educational Progress,...
Inhibitory Tagging in Inhibition of Return: Evidence from Flanker Interference with Multiple Distractor Features
Fuentes, Vivas, and Humphreys (1999) proposed a distinction between inhibition of return (IOR) and inhibitory processing taking place at a location subject to IOR. This latter mechanism, inhibitory tagging (IT), would act at a late level of processing...
Is the Mind Inherently Forward Looking? Comparing Prediction and Retrodiction
It has been suggested that prediction may be an organizing principle of the mind and/or the neocortex, with cognitive machinery specifically engineered to detect forward-looking temporal relationships, rather than merely associating temporally contiguous...
Iterated Learning: Intergenerational Knowledge Transmission Reveals Inductive Biases
Cultural transmission of information plays a central role in shaping human knowledge. Some of the most complex knowledge that people acquire, such as languages or cultural norms, can only be learned from other people, who themselves learned from previous...
"Just Another Pretty Face": A Multidimensional Scaling Approach to Face Attractiveness and Variability
Findings on both attractiveness and memory for faces suggest that people should perceive more similarity among attractive than among unattractive faces. A multidimensional scaling approach was used to test this hypothesis in two studies. In Study 1,...
Learning How to Learn: Can Experiencing the Outcome of Different Encoding Strategies Enhance Subsequent Encoding?
Research on how individuals monitor their level of comprehension during study paint a picture of learners as insensitive to many of the factors or conditions of learning that can enhance long-term retention and transfer. In the present article, we discuss...
Metacomprehension for Educationally Relevant Materials: Dramatic Effects of Encoding-Retrieval Interactions
As the metacomprehension literature has grown, important discoveries pertinent to education have been made. For example, as students are better able to assess their knowledge and implement appropriate study strategies, presumably their acquisition and...
Multiple Object Juggling: Changing What Is Tracked during Extended Multiple Object Tracking
The multiple object tracking (MOT) task has been a useful tool for studying the deployment of limited-capacity visual resources over time. Since it involves sustained attention to multiple objects, this task is a promising model for real-world visual...
New Objects Can Capture Attention without a Unique Luminance Transient
Recent evidence has suggested that new objects capture attention solely because they are typically accompanied by a unique luminance transient. In the present study, we presented a stationary pattern mask after an array of placeholders but before a subsequent...
Nontarget Objects Can Influence Perceptual Processes during Object Recognition
Previous experiments have shown that objects are recognized more readily in a semantically consistent visual context. However, the benefit from context could be explained by response bias, and may not reflect the influence of context on the perceptual...
Principles of Cognitive Science in Education: The Effects of Generation, Errors, and Feedback
Principles of cognitive science hold the promise of helping children to study more effectively, yet they do not always make successful transitions from the laboratory to applied settings and have rarely been tested in such settings. For example, self-generation...
Properties of the Organization of Memory for People: Evidence from Dream Reports
Steyvers and Tenenbaum (2005) showed that semantic networks for words have three organizational properties: short average path lengths, high clustering, and power law degree distribution. If these are general properties of memory organization, they would...
Retrograde Facilitation under Midazolam: The Role of General and Specific Interference
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled experiment that used midazolam, a benzodiazepine that creates temporary amnesia, we compared acquisition and retention of paired associates of different types. Some word pairs were studied before the injection of...
Rotational Kinematics Influence Multimodal Perception of Heaviness
Perceived heaviness has been shown to be specific to an object's rotational inertia (I), its resistance to rotational acceleration. According to the kinematic specification of dynamics (KSD) principle, we hypothesized that I is optically specified by...
Simon Says: Reliability and the Role of Working Memory and Attentional Control in the Simon Task
The Simon effect refers to the observation that subjects identify targets (e.g., colors) faster when the irrelevant spatial location of the target corresponds to the location of the response key. Theoretical accounts of the Simon effect typically explain...
The Memorial Consequences of Multiple-Choice Testing
The present article addresses whether multiple-choice tests may change knowledge even as they attempt to measure it. Overall, taking a multiple-choice test boosts performance on later tests, as compared with non-tested control conditions. This benefit...
The Promise and Perils of Self-Regulated Study
Self-regulated study involves many decisions, some of which people make confidently and easily (if not always optimally) and others of which are involved and difficult. Good study decisions rest on accurate monitoring of ongoing learning, a realistic...
The Time Required for Perceptual (Nonmotoric) Processing in IOR
In an inhibition of return (IOR) paradigm, we used a threshold-tracking procedure combined with backward masking to measure the speed of perceptual processing in IOR independent of motoric factors. Instead of the conventional reaction time measure, this...
Visual Layout Modulates Fitts's Law: The Importance of First and Last Positions
When a target in the last position of a structured visual array is aimed for, movement times (MTs) are shorter than predicted by Fitts's law (Adam, Mol, Pratt, & Fischer, 2006). That study, however, confounded relative target position with absolute...
Working Memory, Math Performance, and Math Anxiety
The cognitive literature now shows how critically math performance depends on working memory, for any form of arithmetic and math that involves processes beyond simple memory retrieval. The psychometric literature is also very clear on the global consequences...