• Dual-goal facilitation in Wason's 2–4–6 task: what mediates successful rule discovery?

      Gale, Maggie; Ball, Linden J.; University of Derby (2006)
      The standard 2-4-6 task requires discovery of a single rule and produces success rates of about 20%, whereas the dual-goal (DG) version requests discovery of two complementary rules and elevates success to over 60%. The experiment examined two explanations of DG superiority: Evans' (1989) positivity-bias account, and Wharton, Cheng, and Wickens' (1993) goal-complementarity theory. Two DG conditions were employed that varied the linguistic labelling of rules (either positively labelled Dax vs. Med, or mixed-valence "fits" vs. "does not fit"). Solution-success results supported the goal-complementarity theory since facilitation arose in both DG conditions relative to single-goal tasks, irrespective of the linguistic labelling of hypotheses. DG instructions also altered quantitative and qualitative aspects of hypothesis-testing behaviour, and analyses revealed the novel result that the production of at least a single descending triple mediates between DG instructions and task success. We propose that the identification of an appropriate contrast class that delimits the scope of complementary rules may be facilitated through the generation of a descending instance. Overall, our findings can best be accommodated by Oaksford and Chater's (1994) iterative counterfactual model of hypotheses testing, which can readily subsume key elements of the goal-complementarity theory.
    • Embedding compassionate micro skills of communication in higher education: implementation with psychology undergraduates

      Harvey, Caroline; Maratos, Frances; Montague, Jane; Gale, Maggie; Gilbert, Theo; Clark, Karen; University of Derby; University of Hertfordshire (British Psychological Society, 2020-09-01)
      Many students struggle with group-based assessments. The pedagogic approach of the ‘compassionate micro skills of communication’ (CMSC) aims to equip students with the skills necessary to work effectively in group settings. To this end, students studying on a core psychology module involving group-work, received structured CMSC learning in seminars. Following its implementation, analysis of data from four student and one staff focus groups, using thematic analysis, indicated support for the pedagogic approach. Four themes emerged: the use of CMSC for addressing unhelpful group behaviours; employing helpful group behaviours; enhancing inclusivity; and areas for CMSC improvement and roll out. Quantitative data collection is still on-going and will be reported elsewhere. However, our preliminary analysis of the qualitative data provides good support for utilising a CMSC pedagogic approach in Higher Education regarding both its efficacy and potential positive impact.
    • Performance under stress: an eye-tracking investigation of the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT).

      Simonovic, Boban; Stupple, Edward J. N.; Gale, Maggie; Sheffield, David; University of Derby (Frontiers Media, 2018-09-28)
      Stress pervades everyday life and impedes risky decision making. The following experiment is the first to examine effects of stress on risky decision making in the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), while measuring inspection time and conscious awareness of deck contingencies. This was original as it allowed a fine grained rigorous analysis of the way that stress impedes awareness of, and attention to maladaptive financial choices. The extended Cognitive Reflection Task (CRT) further afforded examination of the impact of impaired reflective thinking on risky decision making. Stressed participants were slower to avoid the disadvantageous decks and performed worse overall. They inspected disadvantageous decks for longer than the control condition and were slower in developing awareness of their poor deck quality compared to the control condition. Conversely, in the control condition greater inspection times for advantageous decks were observed earlier in the task, and better awareness of the deck contingencies was shown as early as the second block of trials than the stress condition. Path analysis suggested that stress reduced IGT performance by impeding reflective thinking and conscious awareness. Explicit cognitive processes, moreover, were important during the preliminary phase of IGT performance—a finding that has significant implications for the use of the IGT as a clinical diagnostic tool. It was concluded that stress impedes reflective thinking, attentional disengagement from poorer decks, and the development of conscious knowledge about choice quality that interferes with performance on the IGT. These data demonstrate that stress impairs risky decision making performance, by impeding attention to, and awareness of task characteristics in risky decision making.
    • Pupil dilation and cognitive reflection as predictors of performance on the Iowa Gambling Task

      Simonovic, Boban; Stupple, Edward J. N.; Gale, Maggie; Sheffield, David; University of Derby (Cognitive Science Society, 2017-07)
      Risky decisions and implicit learning involve both cognitive and emotional factors. As the primary test-bed for the Somatic Marker Hypothesis (SMH), the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) was devised to examine these factors. Skin conductance evidence has shown anticipatory physiological responses to the deck contingencies which supports SMH. However, skin conductance is not without limitations and pupil dilation is an alternative physiological marker. In the present study, the predictive effects of anticipatory pupillary responses to positive and negative decks on IGT performance were examined in an extended version of the task. The extended Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT) was used to examine the relationship between reflective thinking and IGT performance. Data demonstrated that reflective thinking correlated with performance from the second block onwards and that learning continued on the IGT into the additional sixth and seventh blocks, indicating that performance was not optimized until the final block. Regression analysis further showed that both anticipatory pupil dilation for disadvantageous and advantageous decks, and reflective thinking were strong predictors of overall IGT performance. Thus, while both emotional and reflective processes are implicated in IGT performance, analytic cognition plays a more salient role than traditionally acknowledged.
    • Stress and risky decision making: Cognitive reflection, emotional learning or both.

      Simonovic, Boban; Stupple, Edward J. N.; Gale, Maggie; Sheffield, David; University of Derby (Wiley, 2016-08-19)
      Stressful situations hinder judgment. Effects of stress induced by anticipated public speaking on the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) were examined. The Cognitive Reflection Task (CRT) was used to examine the relationship between reflective thinking and IGT performance. The stress manipulation increased blood pressure and was associated with poorer IGT and CRT performance. Stressed participants were slower to avoid the disadvantageous decks. Moreover, CRT scores correlated with optimal deck selections indicating the importance of reflective thinking for good performance on the IGT. These correlations were observed in relatively early trials, which challenges the view that analytic thinking is not important when card contingencies are being learned. Data revealed that IGT performance in healthy individuals is not always optimal; stress levels impair performance. A mediation analysis was consistent with the proposal that the stress manipulation reduced IGT performance by impeding reflective thinking. Thus reflective processing is an important explanation of IGT performance in healthy populations. It was concluded that more reflective participants appear to learn from the outcomes of their decisions even when stressed.
    • Sweating the small stuff: a meta-analysis of skin conductance on the Iowa gambling task

      Simonovic, Boban; Stupple, Edward J. N.; Gale, Maggie; Sheffield, David (Springer, 2019-09-06)
      To systematically examine the role of anticipatory skin conductance responses (aSCRs) in predicting Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) performance. Secondly, to assess the quality of aSCR evidence for the Somatic Marker Hypothesis (SMH) during the IGT. Finally, to evaluate the reliability of current psychophysiological measurements on the IGT. Electronic databases, journals and reference lists were examined for inclusion. Data were extracted by two reviewers and validated by another reviewer, using a standardised extraction sheet along with a quality assessment. Two meta-analyses of aSCR measures were conducted to test the relationship between overall aSCR and IGT performance, and differences in aSCR between advantageous and disadvantageous decks. Twenty studies were included in this review. Quality assessment revealed that five studies did not measure anticipatory responses, and few stated they followed standard IGT and/or psychophysiological procedures. The first meta-analysis of 15 studies revealed a significant, small-to-medium relationship between aSCR and IGT performance (r= .22). The second meta-analysis of eight studies revealed a significant, small difference in aSCR between the advantageous and disadvantageous decks (r= .10); however, publication bias is likely to be an issue. Meta-analyses revealed aSCR evidence supporting the SMH. However, inconsistencies in the IGT and psychophysiological methods, along with publication bias, cast doubt on these effects. It is recommended that future tests of the SMH use a range of psychophysiological measures, a standardised IGT protocol, and discriminate between advantageous and disadvantageous decks.