Bringing you news and information about psychological
science and scientists throughout the world

November 2014

Although religion discourages recklessness caused by moral lapses, it may actually encourage people to take other kinds of risks, research suggests. More>> 

Women are underrepresented in many fields of science, but the causes are much more complex than previously thought, according to a new Psychological Science in the Public Interest report. More>>

Our unconscious biases may predispose us to prefer younger bosses for certain situations and older bosses for others, says a team of psychological scientists at VU Amsterdam. More>>

Five psychological scientists offer a blueprint for making clinical research more thorough and rigorous. More>>


Are drivers less cautious than pedestrians? Or is it the other way around? A team of psychology researchers from Bar-Ilan University in Israel finds that the answers may depend on the individual person. More>>
Eight-month-old infants can distinguish reliable sources of information from less dependable ones, according to eye-tracking studies conducted by psychological scientists at Birkbeck, University of London. More>> 

The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology

DOI: 10.1080/17470218.2013.858171

Selected by Marc Brysbaert

When being narrow minded is a good thing: Locally biased people show stronger contextual cueing

Lauren Bellaera, Adrian von Mhlenen, and Derrick Watson

In a busy, cluttered world, it can often be difficult to find things. Luckily for us, the location of objects is often related to the context in which they are found, which means that we can learn from our exposure to repeated contexts to help us more quickly find what we’re looking for. Researchers who study this type of learning — called contextual learning — have suggested it is influenced by the way we look at and process scenes. When people view a scene, they are either biased to process it globally — focusing on the overall structure of the scene rather than the small details — or to process it locally — focusing on the smaller details rather than the bigger picture.

Each Global Observer features an article from a distinguished international journal. See past selections in the Editor’s Choice archive. 

FSO for Undergraduate Teaching and Learning
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