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Individual differences in associative learning

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889192908 Year: Pages: 112 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-290-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:07
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Theories of associative learning have a long history in advancing the psychological account of behavior via cognitive representation. There are many components and variations of associative theory but at the core is the idea that links or connections between stimuli or responses describe important aspects of our psychological experience. This Frontiers Topic considers how variations in association formation can be used to account for differences between people, elaborating the differences between males and females, differences over the life span, understanding of psychopathologies or even across cultural contexts. A recent volume on the application of learning theory to clinical psychology is one example of this emerging application (e.g., Hazelgrove & Hogarth, 2012). The task for students of learning has been the development, often with mathematically defined explanations, of the parameters and operators that determine the formation and strengths of associations. The ultimate goal is to explain how the acquired representations influence future behavior. This approach has recently been influential in the field of neuroscience where one such learning operator, the error correction principle, has unified the understanding of the conditions which facilitate neuron activation with the computational goals of the brain with properties of learning algorithms (e.g., Rescorla & Wagner, 1972). In this Frontiers Research Topic, we are interested in a similar but currently developing aspect to learning theory, which is the application of the associative model to our understanding of individual differences, including psychopathology. In general, learning theories are monolithic, the same theory applies to the rat and the human, and within people the same algorithm is applied to all individuals. If so this might be thought to suggest that there is little that learning theory can tell us about the how males and females differ, how we change over time or why someone develops schizophrenia for instance. However, these theories have wide scope for developing our understanding of when learning occurs and when it is interfered with, along with a variety of methods of predicting these differences. We received contributions from researchers studying individual differences, including sex differences, age related changes and those using analog or clinical samples of personality and psychopathological disorders where the outcomes of the research bear directly on theories of associative learning. This Research Topic brings together researchers studying basic learning and conditioning processes but in which the basic emotional, attentional, pathological or more general physiological differences between groups of people are modeled using associative theory. This work involves varying stimulus properties and temporal relations or modeling the differences between groups.

Variability and Individual Differences in Early Social Perception and Social Cognition

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198481 Year: Pages: 174 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-848-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Over the past three decades mounting evidence has suggested that infants’ social perceptual and social cognitive abilities are considerably richer than was once thought. By the end of the second year of life, infants discriminate faces along various social dimensions, attend to and understand others’ goals and intentions, use the emotions of others to guide their learning and behavior, attribute dispositional characteristics to other agents, and make basic social evaluations. What has also become clear is that there is a great deal of variability in infants’ social perception and cognition. A critical, outstanding question concerns the nature and meaning of such variability. The proposed Research Topic welcomes papers addressing cutting-edge questions regarding variability and individual differences in early social perception and social cognition. The goal of these papers is to investigate overarching questions in this domain, which are necessary to move the field forward. Variability in early social perception and social cognition (among other domains) in infancy and early childhood is often attributed to noise, or overlooked in favor of focusing on age-related changes. Yet, recent work suggests that variability in social perceptual and social cognitive tasks reliably inter-relates, and predicts real-world social behaviors. For example, infants’ everyday experience with different face categories predicts individual differences in face processing, infants’ production of goal-directed actions predicts their simultaneous understanding of these actions, and variability in social attention during the second year of life is related to theory of mind during the preschool years. These findings suggest that variability in performance on social perception and social cognition tasks is not merely a nuisance variable, but, rather, may provide the key to addressing significant questions regarding the nature of infants’ social perception and social cognition, and the processes that underlie developmental change. Acknowledging and closely examining and investigating variability in early social perceptual and social cognitive abilities may represent a powerful approach for understanding development in (at least) two ways. First, variability can signal transitional points in the developmental onset of a given ability. Thus, such variability, and the extent to which variability relates to experience and/or other abilities, can be used to test hypotheses regarding mechanisms that underlie developmental changes. Second, variability can represent more enduring individual differences between infants. In this case, critical questions arise regarding the source of individual differences (that is, what factors shape the emergence of individual differences?) and whether such early individual differences contribute to the development of more advanced and sophisticated forms of social cognition and behavior. The goal of this Research Topic will be to encourage researchers to take variability in early social perception and cognition seriously. Papers that give variability center stage, and are aimed at addressing the value of variability for identifying developmental mechanisms, as well as investigating the existence, source, and antecedents of early individual differences in social perception and social cognition are welcomed. Taken together, the contributed papers will provide integral new information to the study of social perception and social cognition over the first three years of life.

Individuality in music performance

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193073 Year: Pages: 171 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-307-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-02-05 17:24:33
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Humans are remarkably adept at identifying individuals on the basis of their facial features, or other traits such as gait or vocal timbre. Besides voice, another auditory medium capable of carrying identity information is music. Indeed, certain famous musicians, such as John Coltrane or Sonny Rollins, need only to play a few notes to be unequivocally recognized. Along with emotion and structural cues, artistic individuality seems to be a key element communicated in music performance. Yet, the means by which individuality is expressed in performance, as well as the cognitive processes employed by listeners to perceive identity cues, remain poorly elucidated. Other pertinent issues, including the connection between a performer’s technical competence and ability to convey a specific musical identity, as well as potential links between individuality and career-defining outcomes such as critical recognition and aesthetic appraisal, warrant further exploration. Quantitative approaches to the study of music performance have benefited greatly from MIDI technology and the application of computational methods, leading to the flourishing of empirical music performance research over the last few decades. More recently, neuroimaging techniques have provided valuable insights into the neural mechanisms involved in the cognitive processes of performing music. Nevertheless, this field continues to benefit greatly from qualitative approaches, given that the communication of affect and identity cues in music performance leads to a rich subjectivity of impressions that must be accounted for in order to lead to a greater understanding of this multifaceted phenomenon. The aim of this Research Topic is to provide a forum for interdisciplinary research broadly related to the expression and perception of individuality in music performance. Research methodology includes behavioral, psychophysiological, and neuroimaging techniques. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches are presented The scope of this Research Topic includes laboratory studies as well as studies in real-life performance settings and longitudinal studies on performers.

Face Perception across the Life-Span

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451142 Year: Pages: 244 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-114-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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Face perception is a highly evolved visual skills in humans. This complex ability develops across the life-span, steeply rising in infancy, refining across childhood and adolescence, reaching highest levels in adulthood and declining in old age. As such, the development of face perception comprises multiple skills, including sensory (e.g., mechanisms of holistic, configural and featural perception), cognitive (e.g., memory, processing speed, attentional control), and also emotional and social (e.g., reading and interpreting facial expression) domains. Whereas our understanding of specific functional domains involved in face perception is growing, there is further pressing demand for a multidisciplinary approach toward a more integrated view, describing how face perception ability relates to and develops with other domains of sensory and cognitive functioning. In this research topic we bring together a collection of papers that provide a shot of the current state of the art of theorizing and investigating face perception from the perspective of multiple ability domains. We would like to thank all authors for their valuable contributions that advanced our understanding of face and emotion perception across development.

The Variable Mind? How Apparently Inconsistent Effects Might Inform Model Building

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198597 Year: Pages: 135 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-859-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Model building is typically based on the identification of a set of established facts in any given field of research, insofar as the model is then evaluated on how well it accounts for these facts. Psychology – and specifically visual word identification and reading – is no exception in this sense (e.g., Amenta & Crepaldi, 2012; Coltheart et al., 2001; Grainger & Jacobs, 1996). What counts as an established fact, however, was never discussed in great detail. It was typically considered, for example, that experimental effects need to replicate across, e.g., individuals, experimental settings, and languages if they are to be believed. The emphasis was on consistency, perhaps under a tacit assumption that the universal principles lying behind our cognitive structures determine our behaviour for the most part (or at least for that part that is relevant for model building). There are signs that a different approach is growing up in reading research. On a theoretical ground, Dennis Norris’ Bayesian reader (2006, 2009) has advanced the idea that models can dispense of static forms of representation (i.e., fixed architectures), and process information in a way that is dynamically constrained by context-specific requirements. Ram Frost (2012) has focused on language-specific constraints in the development of general theories of reading. On an empirical ground, the most notable recent advance in visual word identification concern the demonstration that some previously established (in the classic sense) effects depend heavily on language (Velan and Frost, 2011), task (e.g., Duñabeitia et al., 2011; Marelli et al., 2013; Kinoshita and Norris, 2009), or even individual differences (Andrews & Lo, 2012, 2013). Variability has become an intrinsic and informative aspect of cognitive processing, rather than a sign of experimental weakness. This Research Topic aims at moving forward in this new direction by providing an outlet for experimental and theoretical papers that: (i) explore more in depth the theoretical basis for considering variability as an intrinsic property of the human cognitive system; (ii) highlight new context-dependent experimental effects, in a way that is informative on the dynamics of the underlying cognitive processing; (iii) shed new light on known context-dependent experimental effects, again in a way that enhances their theoretical informativeness.

Creativity and Mental Imagery

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889199945 Year: Pages: 114 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-994-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Creativity is increasingly attracting attention of scientific community given its role in different aspects of human life. So far we have only began to understand its complexity and how it correlates with other cognitive processes. A further understanding of its key processes is essential to better implement applications of creativity tools to daily life. Therefore, it is the aim of this Research Topics to further elucidate how creativity can be measured, and its components, such as mental imagery, are determined.

Decision making under uncertainty

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194667 Year: Pages: 143 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-466-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-03-10 08:14:32
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Most decisions in life are based on incomplete information and have uncertain consequences. To successfully cope with real-life situations, the nervous system has to estimate, represent and eventually resolve uncertainty at various levels. A common tradeoff in such decisions involves those between the magnitude of the expected rewards and the uncertainty of obtaining the rewards. For instance, a decision maker may choose to forgo the high expected rewards of investing in the stock market and settle instead for the lower expected reward and much less uncertainty of a savings account. Little is known about how different forms of uncertainty, such as risk or ambiguity, are processed and learned about and how they are integrated with expected rewards and individual preferences throughout the decision making process. With this Research Topic we aim to provide a deeper and more detailed understanding of the processes behind decision making under uncertainty.

Modeling Individual Differences in Perceptual Decision Making

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889450565 Year: Pages: 140 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-056-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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To deal with the abundant amount of information in the environment in order to achieve our goals, human beings adopt a strategy to accumulate some information and filter out other information to ultimately make decisions. Since the development of cognitive science in the 1960s, researchers have been interested in understanding how human beings process and accumulate information for decision-making. Researchers have conducted extensive behavioral studies and applied a wide range of modeling tools to study human behavior in simple-detection tasks and two-choice decision tasks (e.g., discrimination, classification). In general, researchers often assume that the manner in which information is processed for decision-making is invariant across individuals given a particular experimental context. Independent variables, including speed-accuracy instructions, stimulus properties (i.e., intensity), and characteristics of the participants (i.e., aging, cognitive ability) are assumed to affect the parameters in a model (i.e., speed of information accumulation, response bias) but not the way that participants process information (e.g., the order of information processing). Given these assumptions, much modeling has been accomplished based on the grouped data, rather than the individual data. However, a growing number of studies have demonstrated that there were individual differences in the perceptual decision process. In the same task context, different groups of the participants may process information in different manners. The capacity and architecture of the decision mechanism were found to vary across individuals, implying that humans’ decision strategies can vary depending on the context to maximize their performance. In this special issue, we focused on a particular subset of cognitive models, particularly accumulator models, multinomial processing trees and systems factorial technology (SFT) as applied to perceptual decision making. The motivation for the focus on perceptual decision-making is threefold. Empirical studies of perception have grown out of a history of making a large number of observations for each individual so as to achieve precise estimates of each individual’s performance. This type of data, rather than a small number of observations per individual, is most amenable to achieving precision in individual-level and group-level cognitive modeling. Second, the interaction between the acquisition of perceptual information and the decisions based on that information (to the extent that those processes are distinguishable) offers rich data for scientific exploration. Finally, there is an increasing interest in the practical application of individual variation in perceptual ability, whether to inform perceptual training and expertise, or to guide personnel decisions. Although these practical applications are beyond the scope of this issue, we hope that the research presented herein may serve as the foundation for future endeavors in that domain. To deal with the abundant amount of information in the environment in order to achieve our goals, human beings adopt a strategy to accumulate some information and filter out other information to ultimately make decisions. Since the development of cognitive science in the 1960s, researchers have been interested in understanding how human beings process and accumulate information for decision-making. Researchers have conducted extensive behavioral studies and applied a wide range of modeling tools to study human behavior in simple-detection tasks and two-choice decision tasks (e.g., discrimination, classification). In general, researchers often assume that the manner in which information is processed for decision-making is invariant across individuals given a particular experimental context. Independent variables, including speed-accuracy instructions, stimulus properties (i.e., intensity), and characteristics of the participants (i.e., aging, cognitive ability) are assumed to affect the parameters in a model (i.e., speed of information accumulation, response bias) but not the way that participants process information (e.g., the order of information processing). Given these assumptions, much modeling has been accomplished based on the grouped data, rather than the individual data. However, a growing number of studies have demonstrated that there were individual differences in the perceptual decision process. In the same task context, different groups of the participants may process information in different manners. The capacity and architecture of the decision mechanism were found to vary across individuals, implying that humans’ decision strategies can vary depending on the context to maximize their performance. In this special issue, we focused on a particular subset of cognitive models, particularly accumulator models, multinomial processing trees and systems factorial technology (SFT) as applied to perceptual decision making. The motivation for the focus on perceptual decision-making is threefold. Empirical studies of perception have grown out of a history of making a large number of observations for each individual so as to achieve precise estimates of each individual’s performance. This type of data, rather than a small number of observations per individual, is most amenable to achieving precision in individual-level and group-level cognitive modeling. Second, the interaction between the acquisition of perceptual information and the decisions based on that information (to the extent that those processes are distinguishable) offers rich data for scientific exploration. Finally, there is an increasing interest in the practical application of individual variation in perceptual ability, whether to inform perceptual training and expertise, or to guide personnel decisions. Although these practical applications are beyond the scope of this issue, we hope that the research presented herein may serve as the foundation for future endeavors in that domain.

Improving Bayesian Reasoning: What Works and Why?

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197453 Year: Pages: 207 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-745-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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We confess that the first part of our title is somewhat of a misnomer. Bayesian reasoning is a normative approach to probabilistic belief revision and, as such, it is in need of no improvement. Rather, it is the typical individual whose reasoning and judgments often fall short of the Bayesian ideal who is the focus of improvement. What have we learnt from over a half-century of research and theory on this topic that could explain why people are often non-Bayesian? Can Bayesian reasoning be facilitated, and if so why? These are the questions that motivate this Frontiers in Psychology Research Topic. Bayes' theorem, named after English statistician, philosopher, and Presbyterian minister, Thomas Bayes, offers a method for updating one’s prior probability of an hypothesis H on the basis of new data D such that P(H|D) = P(D|H)P(H)/P(D). The first wave of psychological research, pioneered by Ward Edwards, revealed that people were overly conservative in updating their posterior probabilities (i.e., P(D|H)). A second wave, spearheaded by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, showed that people often ignored prior probabilities or base rates, where the priors had a frequentist interpretation, and hence were not Bayesians at all. In the 1990s, a third wave of research spurred by Leda Cosmides and John Tooby and by Gerd Gigerenzer and Ulrich Hoffrage showed that people can reason more like a Bayesian if only the information provided takes the form of (non-relativized) natural frequencies. Although Kahneman and Tversky had already noted the advantages of frequency representations, it was the third wave scholars who pushed the prescriptive agenda, arguing that there are feasible and effective methods for improving belief revision. Most scholars now agree that natural frequency representations do facilitate Bayesian reasoning. However, they do not agree on why this is so. The original third wave scholars favor an evolutionary account that posits human brain adaptation to natural frequency processing. But almost as soon as this view was proposed, other scholars challenged it, arguing that such evolutionary assumptions were not needed. The dominant opposing view has been that the benefit of natural frequencies is mainly due to the fact that such representations make the nested set relations perfectly transparent. Thus, people can more easily see what information they need to focus on and how to simply combine it. This Research Topic aims to take stock of where we are at present. Are we in a proto-fourth wave? If so, does it offer a synthesis of recent theoretical disagreements? The second part of the title orients the reader to the two main subtopics: what works and why? In terms of the first subtopic, we seek contributions that advance understanding of how to improve people’s abilities to revise their beliefs and to integrate probabilistic information effectively. The second subtopic centers on explaining why methods that improve non-Bayesian reasoning work as well as they do. In addressing that issue, we welcome both critical analyses of existing theories as well as fresh perspectives. For both subtopics, we welcome the full range of manuscript types.

Psychosocial Job Dimensions and Distress/Well-Being: Issues and Challenges in Occupational Health Psychology

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889454082 Year: Pages: 261 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-408-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-11-16 17:17:57
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Over the last three decades a large body of research has showed that psychosocial job dimensions such as time pressure, decision authority and social support, could have significant implications for psychological distress and well-being. Theoretical models, such as the job demand-control-social support model (JDCS model), the effort-reward imbalance model (ERI model), the job demands-resources model (JDR model) and the vitamin model suggest that distress and positive dimensions at work (well being and motivation) can be considered as two sides of the same coin. If the job is designed to provide the right mix of psychosocial job dimensions (e.g., optimal time pressure, decision authority and social support), work can boost job engagement and well-being as well as productive behaviors at work. When the job is not designed in an optimal way (e.g., too much time pressure and too little decision authority) work can trigger stress reactions and burnout. Although some insight has been gained on how job dimensions could predict distress and well-being, and also into the dimensions that might moderate and mediate these associations; research still faces several challenges. Firstly, most of this research has been cross-sectional in nature, thus making it difficult to conclude on the long-term effects of psychosocial job dimensions. Another challenge concerns how the contextual dimensions can be incorporated into micro-levels models on employee stress and well-being. Nowadays, work is carried out in the context of a wider environment that includes organizational variables. So far the role of the organizational variables in the theoretical frameworks for explaining the relationships between psychosocial job dimensions, employee distress and well-being, has often been underplayed. The main aim of this research topic is to bring together international research from different theoretical and methodological perspectives in order to advance knowledge and practice in the field of work stress.

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