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  • 1.
    Kattner, Florian
    et al.
    Department of Psychology, Health and Medical University, Potsdam, Germany.
    Richardson, Beth H.
    School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Marsh, John Everett
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Health, Learning and Technology, Health, Medicine and Rehabilitation. School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    The Benefit of Foreknowledge in Auditory Distraction Depends on the Intelligibility of pre-exposed Speech2022In: Auditory Perception & Cognition, ISSN 2574-2442, Vol. 5, no 3-4, p. 151-168Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Providing participants with an opportunity to listen to a forthcoming distracter sentence has been shown to attenuate its disruptive effect on short-term memory. On the stimulus-specific attentional diversion account, foreknowledge selectively reduces any potential diversion produced by interest in the post-categorical (e.g., semantic or syntactical) properties of a discrete sentence. This account assumes that the beneficial effect of foreknowledge depends crucially on the intelligibility of pre-exposed sentential speech. During a visual-verbal serial recall paradigm, participants undertook two counterbalanced blocks of trials wherein they were either pre-exposed to impending auditory distracter sentences (foreknowledge) or not (no foreknowledge). Pre-exposed sentences were intelligible, partially intelligible or unintelligible while sentences accompanying serial recall were all intelligible. Participants were instructed to attend to the sentences during pre-exposure and ignore them when they accompanied the serial recall task. Foreknowledge of an impending distracter sentence attenuated its later distractive power in serial recall, but only when the foreknowledge was at least partially intelligible. Consistent with the stimulus-specific attentional diversion account, the intelligibility of speech presented during a foreknowledge period is a key requirement for attenuation of auditory distraction by sentential speech. This suggests that intelligible foreknowledge increases familiarity of the material thereby reducing attentional diversion due to interest. These results reinforce the view that foreknowledge reduces disruption produced by the semantic/syntactical properties of discrete sentences but has little effect on that produced by its acoustic properties.

  • 2.
    Marsh, John Everett
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Health, Education and Technology, Health, Medicine and Rehabilitation. Human Factors Laboratory, School of Psychology and Computer Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Vachon, François
    École de Psychologie, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Marsja, Erik
    Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research Division, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
    Röer, Jan P.
    Department of Psychology and Psychotherapy, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten, Germany.
    Richardson, Beth H.
    Human Factors Laboratory, School of Psychology and Computer Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Körning-Ljungberg, Jessica
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Health, Education and Technology, Health, Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Irrelevant changing-state vibrotactile stimuli disrupt verbal serial recall: implications for theories of interference in short-term memory2024In: Journal of Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 2044-5911, E-ISSN 2044-592X, Vol. 36, no 1, p. 78-100Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    What causes interference in short-term memory? We report the novel finding that immediate memory for visually-presented verbal items is sensitive to disruption from task-irrelevant vibrotactile stimuli. Specifically, short-term memory for a visual sequence is disrupted by a concurrently presented sequence of vibrations, but only when the vibrotactile sequence entails change (when the sequence “jumps” between the two hands). The impact on visual-verbal serial recall was similar in magnitude to that for auditory stimuli (Experiment 1). Performance of the missing item task, requiring recall of item-identity rather than item-order, was unaffected by changing-state vibrotactile stimuli (Experiment 2), as with changing-state auditory stimuli. Moreover, the predictability of the changing-state sequence did not modulate the magnitude of the effect, arguing against an attention-capture conceptualisation (Experiment 3). Results support the view that interference in short-term memory is produced by conflict between incompatible, amodal serial-ordering processes (interference-by-process) rather than interference between similar representational codes (interference-by-content).

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  • 3.
    Richardson, Beth
    et al.
    School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston UK.
    McCulloch, Kathleen C.
    School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston UK.
    Ball, Linden J.
    School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston UK.
    Marsh, John Everett
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology. School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston UK.
    The Fate of the Unattended Revisited: Can Irrelevant Speech Prime the Non-dominant Interpretation of Homophones?2023In: Auditory Perception & Cognition, ISSN 2574-2442, Vol. 6, no 1-2, p. 72-96Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Whether the post-categorical, semantic properties of task-irrelevant speech are processed has been a source of debate between two central accounts. The first, a structural account, proposes that the semantic content of irrelevant speech is filtered out early on, and thus remains unprocessed. The second account proposes that the semantic content of speech is, in fact, processed and can influence later behavior. The present research offers a resolution between these two prominent accounts by examining whether semantic processing of task-irrelevant speech occurs despite explicit instructions to ignore it. During a visual-verbal serial recall paradigm, participants were auditorily presented with non-dominant homophones plus their close associates, or close associates without the homophone itself and asked to ignore this irrelevant speech containing these semantic primes. In a subsequent “unrelated” phase, we assessed whether the spelling of homophones was influenced by the irrelevant speech that had occurred earlier in the serial recall phase. We found evidence of semantic priming in conditions wherein the homophone was present, as well as conditions wherein only associates of the homophone were present. Regardless of whether they were presented, homophones were more likely to be spelt in accordance with their non-dominant meaning, and most participants did not report awareness of this fact. We suggest that semantic processing of irrelevant speech occurs even when there is an explicit direction to ignore it and does not result in any material disruptive effect on serial recall performance.

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  • 4.
    Sebalo, Ivan
    et al.
    School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK; School of Psychology, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.
    Ball, Linden J.
    School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Marsh, John E.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology. School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Morley, Andy M.
    School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Richardson, Beth H.
    School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Taylor, Paul J.
    School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Threadgold, Emma
    School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Conspiracy theories: why they are believed and how they can be challenged2023In: Journal of Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 2044-5911, E-ISSN 2044-592X, Vol. 35, no 4, p. 383-400Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The current study aimed: (i) to identify personal characteristics associated with endorsing conspiracy theories; and (ii) to investigate methods for dispelling conspiracy beliefs. Participants were shown a single conspiracy theory and they also completed questionnaires about their reasoning skills, types of information processing (System 1 vs. System 2), endorsement of paranormal beliefs, locus of control and pattern perception. To challenge the endorsement of the conspiracy, participants read either: (i) neutral information; (ii) a critical analysis of the vignette; (iii) a critical analysis of the vignette with discussion of realistic consequences; or (iv) a critical analysis of the vignette with “feeling of control” priming. Only addressing the consequences of the conspiracy theory decreased its endorsement. Furthermore, only type of information processing and belief in paranormal phenomena, were associated with endorsement of the conspiracy. These findings are discussed in relation to previous studies and theories of conspiratorial ideation.

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