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Exploring social influences on the joint Simon task: empathy and friendship.

Ford RM, Aberdein B - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: Consistent with past research, participants reacted more quickly when the finger pointed toward them rather than their co-actor (the Simon Effect or SE).The effect remained robust when the co-actor was no longer present and was unaffected by degree of acquaintance; however, its magnitude was correlated positively with empathy only among friends.We discuss these findings in relation to social accounts (e.g., task co-representation) and non-social accounts (e.g., referential coding) of joint action.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge, UK.

ABSTRACT
Tasks for which people must act together to achieve a goal are a feature of daily life. The present study explored social influences on joint action using a Simon procedure for which participants (n = 44) were confronted with a series of images of hands and asked to respond via button press whenever the index finger wore a ring of a certain color (red or green) regardless of pointing direction (left or right). In an initial joint condition they performed the task while sitting next to another person (friend or stranger) who responded to the other color. In a subsequent individual condition they repeated the task on their own; additionally, they completed self-report tests of empathy. Consistent with past research, participants reacted more quickly when the finger pointed toward them rather than their co-actor (the Simon Effect or SE). The effect remained robust when the co-actor was no longer present and was unaffected by degree of acquaintance; however, its magnitude was correlated positively with empathy only among friends. For friends, the SE was predicted by cognitive perspective taking when the co-actor was present and by propensity for fantasizing when the co-actor was absent. We discuss these findings in relation to social accounts (e.g., task co-representation) and non-social accounts (e.g., referential coding) of joint action.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Experimental stimuli; Green pointing left (top left), green pointing right (top right), red pointing left (bottom left) and red pointing right (bottom right).
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Figure 1: Experimental stimuli; Green pointing left (top left), green pointing right (top right), red pointing left (bottom left) and red pointing right (bottom right).

Mentions: The joint and individual Simon tasks were administered using a Dell laptop computer with Windows XP operating system. The computer had a screen resolution of 1440 × 1020 pixels; the program was run at this same screen resolution. A pair of Microsoft branded computer mice connected to the laptop via the audio and microphone jacks were used as the input devices for responding to the stimuli. These computer mice were programmed to enable simultaneous input, to the same stimulus, into the computer. Participants viewed a series of hands presented on the computer monitor that varied in terms of ring color (green versus red) and pointing direction of the index finger (left versus right). This factorial design yielded four different images, namely (1) green ring/pointing left, (2) green ring/pointing right, (3) red ring/pointing left and (4) red ring/pointing right (see Figure 1). Participants were requested to press the button on their mouse either in response to a red ring (22 participants) or in response to a green ring (22 participants), regardless of pointing direction. In the former case, for example, red rings signal ‘go’ trials and green rings signal ‘no go’ trials. Following the eight practice trials, participants saw 200 images in total (50 each of four stimulus types) that were presented in random order, with the proviso that the same color ring could not appear more than three times in succession.


Exploring social influences on the joint Simon task: empathy and friendship.

Ford RM, Aberdein B - Front Psychol (2015)

Experimental stimuli; Green pointing left (top left), green pointing right (top right), red pointing left (bottom left) and red pointing right (bottom right).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4496556&req=5

Figure 1: Experimental stimuli; Green pointing left (top left), green pointing right (top right), red pointing left (bottom left) and red pointing right (bottom right).
Mentions: The joint and individual Simon tasks were administered using a Dell laptop computer with Windows XP operating system. The computer had a screen resolution of 1440 × 1020 pixels; the program was run at this same screen resolution. A pair of Microsoft branded computer mice connected to the laptop via the audio and microphone jacks were used as the input devices for responding to the stimuli. These computer mice were programmed to enable simultaneous input, to the same stimulus, into the computer. Participants viewed a series of hands presented on the computer monitor that varied in terms of ring color (green versus red) and pointing direction of the index finger (left versus right). This factorial design yielded four different images, namely (1) green ring/pointing left, (2) green ring/pointing right, (3) red ring/pointing left and (4) red ring/pointing right (see Figure 1). Participants were requested to press the button on their mouse either in response to a red ring (22 participants) or in response to a green ring (22 participants), regardless of pointing direction. In the former case, for example, red rings signal ‘go’ trials and green rings signal ‘no go’ trials. Following the eight practice trials, participants saw 200 images in total (50 each of four stimulus types) that were presented in random order, with the proviso that the same color ring could not appear more than three times in succession.

Bottom Line: Consistent with past research, participants reacted more quickly when the finger pointed toward them rather than their co-actor (the Simon Effect or SE).The effect remained robust when the co-actor was no longer present and was unaffected by degree of acquaintance; however, its magnitude was correlated positively with empathy only among friends.We discuss these findings in relation to social accounts (e.g., task co-representation) and non-social accounts (e.g., referential coding) of joint action.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge, UK.

ABSTRACT
Tasks for which people must act together to achieve a goal are a feature of daily life. The present study explored social influences on joint action using a Simon procedure for which participants (n = 44) were confronted with a series of images of hands and asked to respond via button press whenever the index finger wore a ring of a certain color (red or green) regardless of pointing direction (left or right). In an initial joint condition they performed the task while sitting next to another person (friend or stranger) who responded to the other color. In a subsequent individual condition they repeated the task on their own; additionally, they completed self-report tests of empathy. Consistent with past research, participants reacted more quickly when the finger pointed toward them rather than their co-actor (the Simon Effect or SE). The effect remained robust when the co-actor was no longer present and was unaffected by degree of acquaintance; however, its magnitude was correlated positively with empathy only among friends. For friends, the SE was predicted by cognitive perspective taking when the co-actor was present and by propensity for fantasizing when the co-actor was absent. We discuss these findings in relation to social accounts (e.g., task co-representation) and non-social accounts (e.g., referential coding) of joint action.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus