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Succumbing to bottom-up biases on task choice predicts increased switch costs in the voluntary task switching paradigm.

Orr JM, Weissman DH - Front Psychol (2011)

Bottom Line: Definitive support for this hypothesis is lacking, however, because task choice and task performance are usually confounded.As predicted, participants tended to choose the task that was primed by bottom-up biases.These findings provide compelling evidence that bottom-up biases influence voluntary task choice.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

ABSTRACT
Bottom-up biases are widely thought to influence task choice in the voluntary task switching paradigm. Definitive support for this hypothesis is lacking, however, because task choice and task performance are usually confounded. We therefore revisited this hypothesis using a paradigm in which task choice and task performance are temporally separated. As predicted, participants tended to choose the task that was primed by bottom-up biases. Moreover, such choices were linked to increased switch costs during subsequent task performance. These findings provide compelling evidence that bottom-up biases influence voluntary task choice. They also suggest that succumbing to such biases reflects a reduction of top-down control that persists to influence upcoming task performance.

No MeSH data available.


The task choice index (i. e., the proportion of trials in which participants voluntarily chose the numerical size comparison task minus the proportion of trials in which they voluntarily chose the physical size comparison task) as a function of distracter identity (N, P, or O) and previous agency (voluntary, explicit). Positive values indicate a bias to choose the numerical size comparison task more often than the physical size comparison task. Negative values indicate the opposite bias. Participants tended to choose the task associated with the distracter letters (i.e., a positive task choice index for N distracters and a negative task choice index for P distracters) and this bias was stronger after explicit than after voluntary task choice trials. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals.
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Figure 2: The task choice index (i. e., the proportion of trials in which participants voluntarily chose the numerical size comparison task minus the proportion of trials in which they voluntarily chose the physical size comparison task) as a function of distracter identity (N, P, or O) and previous agency (voluntary, explicit). Positive values indicate a bias to choose the numerical size comparison task more often than the physical size comparison task. Negative values indicate the opposite bias. Participants tended to choose the task associated with the distracter letters (i.e., a positive task choice index for N distracters and a negative task choice index for P distracters) and this bias was stronger after explicit than after voluntary task choice trials. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals.

Mentions: There was also an interaction between previous agency and current distracter identity [F(1.9,100.7) = 12.1, p < 0.001; Figure 2]. Post hoc tests indicated that participants were more likely to choose the task associated with the distracter letters when the task choice in the previous trial was explicit than when it was voluntary (both p < 0.001). A potential explanation addressed below is that the association between a distracter letter and a task choice was stronger when that distracter letter had (versus had not) appeared as an explicit cue in the preceding trial. No other effects were significant.


Succumbing to bottom-up biases on task choice predicts increased switch costs in the voluntary task switching paradigm.

Orr JM, Weissman DH - Front Psychol (2011)

The task choice index (i. e., the proportion of trials in which participants voluntarily chose the numerical size comparison task minus the proportion of trials in which they voluntarily chose the physical size comparison task) as a function of distracter identity (N, P, or O) and previous agency (voluntary, explicit). Positive values indicate a bias to choose the numerical size comparison task more often than the physical size comparison task. Negative values indicate the opposite bias. Participants tended to choose the task associated with the distracter letters (i.e., a positive task choice index for N distracters and a negative task choice index for P distracters) and this bias was stronger after explicit than after voluntary task choice trials. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3111096&req=5

Figure 2: The task choice index (i. e., the proportion of trials in which participants voluntarily chose the numerical size comparison task minus the proportion of trials in which they voluntarily chose the physical size comparison task) as a function of distracter identity (N, P, or O) and previous agency (voluntary, explicit). Positive values indicate a bias to choose the numerical size comparison task more often than the physical size comparison task. Negative values indicate the opposite bias. Participants tended to choose the task associated with the distracter letters (i.e., a positive task choice index for N distracters and a negative task choice index for P distracters) and this bias was stronger after explicit than after voluntary task choice trials. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals.
Mentions: There was also an interaction between previous agency and current distracter identity [F(1.9,100.7) = 12.1, p < 0.001; Figure 2]. Post hoc tests indicated that participants were more likely to choose the task associated with the distracter letters when the task choice in the previous trial was explicit than when it was voluntary (both p < 0.001). A potential explanation addressed below is that the association between a distracter letter and a task choice was stronger when that distracter letter had (versus had not) appeared as an explicit cue in the preceding trial. No other effects were significant.

Bottom Line: Definitive support for this hypothesis is lacking, however, because task choice and task performance are usually confounded.As predicted, participants tended to choose the task that was primed by bottom-up biases.These findings provide compelling evidence that bottom-up biases influence voluntary task choice.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

ABSTRACT
Bottom-up biases are widely thought to influence task choice in the voluntary task switching paradigm. Definitive support for this hypothesis is lacking, however, because task choice and task performance are usually confounded. We therefore revisited this hypothesis using a paradigm in which task choice and task performance are temporally separated. As predicted, participants tended to choose the task that was primed by bottom-up biases. Moreover, such choices were linked to increased switch costs during subsequent task performance. These findings provide compelling evidence that bottom-up biases influence voluntary task choice. They also suggest that succumbing to such biases reflects a reduction of top-down control that persists to influence upcoming task performance.

No MeSH data available.