New Content From Perspectives on Psychological Science

The “Effort Elephant” in the Room: What Is Effort, Anyway?
Keela S. Thomson and Daniel M. Oppenheimer

What is “cognitive effort”? Thomson and Oppenheimer explain why effort is so difficult to define and why it is important that researchers develop consensus on precise definitions. They describe major “hidden” sources of miscommunication: areas in which researchers disagree in their underlying assumptions about effort without realizing their underlying assumptions are different. Thomson and Oppenheimer also review methods used to measure and manipulate the effortfulness of thinking and highlight why they often produce contradictory findings. They conclude by reviewing existing perspectives on cognitive effort and integrating them to suggest a common framework for communicating about effort as a limited cognitive resource.

Two Different Mismatches: Integrating the Developmental and the Evolutionary-Mismatch Hypothesis
Marèn Hoogland and Annemie Ploeger

Hoogland and Ploeger review empirical studies that substantiate three different theories about the origins of disease and argue that an overarching theory that integrates all theories into one provides a more accurate understanding of disease from an evolutionary perspective. One theory is developmental mismatch, in which disease results from a mismatch at the individual level between the environment experienced during childhood and the environment experienced in adulthood. In evolutionary mismatch, humans adapted to ancestral conditions and might experience a mismatch with their modern environment, possibly resulting in disease. The third theory, differential susceptibility, proposes that genetic and epigenetic differences influence the extent to which humans are susceptible to rearing, resulting in different susceptibilities to disease.

Control Yourself: Broad Implications of Narrowed Attention
Andrew Ward and Traci Mann

Attention represents a key element of self-control, and multiple theoretical accounts have highlighted how abundant attentional capacity supports self-regulation. What, then, are the consequences of living in today’s world, in which a multitude of stimuli can so easily divide attention? In this article, Ward and Mann consider the implications of divided attention for self-control. They show that although the end result is typically disinhibited behavior, attentional limitation, or what we term attentional myopia, can be associated with enhanced restraint under specified conditions.

Autistic-Like Traits and Positive Schizotypy as Diametric Specializations of the Predictive Mind
Brett P. Andersen

The diametric model of autism and psychosis suggests that people on the autism spectrum give an inflexibly high weight to sensory input when updating their prior beliefs (i.e., use many of the small perceptual errors to update prior beliefs), whereas people with a predisposition to psychosis (i.e., high in positive schizotypy) do the opposite, using only large errors to update prior beliefs. Andersen argues that evidence strongly supports this hypothesis. An inflexibly low weight given to sensory input can explain features of positive schizotypy such as increased exploratory behavior, apophenia, hyper theory of mind, hyperactive imagination, attentional differences, and idiosyncratic worldviews.

What Is Digital Parenting? A Systematic Review of Past Measurement and Blueprint for the Future
Kathryn L. Modecki, Rachel E. Goldberg, Pamela Wisniewski, and Amy Orben

The rapid diffusion of digital technologies has heightened anxieties over digital parenting. To provide a clear characterization of how digital parenting is measured, Modecki and colleagues conducted two interdisciplinary systematic reviews of the digital-parenting literature and examined measurements across quantitative surveys and qualitative focus groups, interviews, codesign studies, and user studies. They describe areas of survey measurement that show decreased relevance and highlight areas that have been overlooked. The authors provide recommendations for the future of digital-parenting research and propose a more comprehensive approach to measuring modern parenting.

Toward Precision Characterization and Treatment of Psychopathology: A Path Forward and Integrative Framework of the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology and the Research Domain Criteria
Sarah L. Hagerty

Hagerty contends that, consistent with a precision-medicine model, treatment prognosis can be improved for each person if treatment selection is targeted and precise. The researcher starts by synthesizing two psychopathology models—the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology and the Research Domain Criteria—and demonstrating how integrating these models may facilitate precise characterization of psychopathology. Hagerty then outlines and exemplifies a systematic process for approaching treatment selection by leveraging precisely characterized representations of psychopathology. Finally, Hagerty describes the research and clinical applications of this framework, which may improve the lives of individuals who experience psychopathology.

Redundancy and Reducibility in the Formats of Spatial Representations
Sami R. Yousif

Yousif proposes that to understand how the mind works, one must understand both the content and the format of mental representations (i.e., what information exists in the mind and how it exists, respectively). Focusing on representation of spatial location, the researcher reviews studies across (a) species and development, (b) spatial scales, and (c) levels of analysis (e.g., cognitive format vs. neural format). Yousif discusses the possibility that the same information may be organized in multiple formats simultaneously (e.g., locations represented in Cartesian and polar coordinates) and argues that seemingly “redundant” formats may support flexible spatial behavior in humans.

Consensus Goals in the Field of Visual Metacognition
Dobromir Rahnev et al.

Twenty-six researchers from the field of visual metacognition reached consensus on four common long-term goals: Developing falsifiable and detailed computational models, developing robust protocols to manipulate metacognition and investigate adaptive performance, determining the computations underlying confidence in complex tasks, and determining the nature of the relationship between perceptual metacognition and perceptual consciousness. They also agreed on two medium-term goals: (a) Expanding beyond confidence in two-choice tasks and developing models of confidence for such tasks and (b) determining the computations underlying confidence and the factors that influence these computations. The researchers describe the process they followed and their plans for accomplishing these goals.

The Effects of Editorial-Board Diversity on Race Scholars and Their Scholarship: A Field Experiment
Sakaria Laisene Auelua-Toomey and Steven O. Roberts

The lack of racial diversity among editors at mainstream journals might obstruct the advancement of race scholarship. Auelua-Toomey and Roberts found that under all-White editorial boards, race scholars (who focus on the role of race in their research) were less likely than non–race scholars to (a) believe that the journal valued racial diversity, research on race, or their own research; (b) believe that the journal would publish their research; and (c) be willing to submit their research to the journal for publication. Under diverse editorial boards, compared with under all-White editorial boards, there were no differences between race scholars and non–race scholars, and both had more positive perceptions of the journal.

Accelerating Psychological Science With Metastudies: A Demonstration Using the Risky-Choice Framing Effect
Michael L. DeKay, Nataliya Rubinchik, Zhaojun Li, and Paul De Boeck

Metastudies are sets of many small studies (microstudies) that are based on the same experimental design and contain few participants each. They can yield many of the benefits of time-consuming replications and meta-analyses but more efficiently and with greater attention to generalizability and the causal effects of moderators, DeKay and colleagues explain. In metastudies, statistical precision and power are higher than in studies with the same total sample size but fewer conditions and more participants per condition. DeKay and colleagues describe metastudies and their benefits, demonstrate how to conduct a metastudy using the risky-choice framing effect as an example, and report on the generalizability of that effect.

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