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More conflict does not trigger more adjustment of cognitive control for subsequent events: A study of the bivalency effect


Rey-Mermet, Alodie; Meier, Beat (2014). More conflict does not trigger more adjustment of cognitive control for subsequent events: A study of the bivalency effect. Acta Psychologica, 145:111-117.

Abstract

Encountering a conflict triggers an adjustment of cognitive control. This adjustment of cognitive control can even affect subsequent performance. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether more conflict triggers more adjustment of cognitive control for subsequent performance. To this end, we focussed on the bivalency effect, that is, the adjustment of cognitive control following the conflict induced by bivalent stimuli (i.e., stimuli with relevant features for two tasks). In two experiments, we tested whether the amount of conflict triggered by bivalent stimuli affected the bivalency effect. Bivalent stimuli were either compatible (i.e., affording one response) or incompatible (i.e., affording two different responses). Thus, compatible bivalent stimuli involved a task conflict, whereas incompatible bivalent stimuli involved a task and a response conflict. The results showed that the bivalency effect was not affected by this manipulation. This indicates that more conflict does not trigger more adjustment of cognitive control for subsequent performance. Therefore, only the occurrence of conflict – not its amount – is determinant for cognitive control.

Encountering a conflict triggers an adjustment of cognitive control. This adjustment of cognitive control can even affect subsequent performance. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether more conflict triggers more adjustment of cognitive control for subsequent performance. To this end, we focussed on the bivalency effect, that is, the adjustment of cognitive control following the conflict induced by bivalent stimuli (i.e., stimuli with relevant features for two tasks). In two experiments, we tested whether the amount of conflict triggered by bivalent stimuli affected the bivalency effect. Bivalent stimuli were either compatible (i.e., affording one response) or incompatible (i.e., affording two different responses). Thus, compatible bivalent stimuli involved a task conflict, whereas incompatible bivalent stimuli involved a task and a response conflict. The results showed that the bivalency effect was not affected by this manipulation. This indicates that more conflict does not trigger more adjustment of cognitive control for subsequent performance. Therefore, only the occurrence of conflict – not its amount – is determinant for cognitive control.

Citations

3 citations in Web of Science®
3 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:05 Mar 2014 17:25
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:44
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0001-6918
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2013.11.005

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