New Research From Psychological Science

Read about the latest research published in Psychological Science:

Money Earlier or Later? Simple Heuristics Explain Intertemporal Choices Better Than Delay Discounting Does

Keith M. Marzilli Ericson, John Myles White, David Laibson, and Jonathan D. Cohen

People frequently make decisions that have both short- and long-term consequences. These decisions — called intertemporal choices — have often been explained using delay-discounting models; however, these models have not always accounted for some of the behaviors seen in decision-making experiments. The authors hypothesized that models based on heuristics may provide a superior way to account for performance on discounting tasks. Participants were assigned to perform one of five variants of a money-earlier-or-later (MEL) task in which they chose between immediate or delayed rewards of differing values. In support of the authors’ hypothesis, heuristic models fit participants’ choices on the MEL tasks better than standard economic models of intertemporal choice.

Modality and Morphology: What We Write May Not Be What We Say

Brenda Rapp, Simon Fischer-Baum, and Michele Miozzo

Humans have been speaking for much longer than they have been writing. This has led researchers to wonder whether written language is dependent on processes used for spoken language. Five participants who experienced language deficits after suffering a left-hemisphere stroke were shown pictures depicting an event (verb elicitation) or single or multiple objects (noun elicitation). Participants were asked to write or say the verb or noun that described the image. Four participants produced inflections more accurately in spoken than in written responses, while one participant showed the opposite pattern — producing more accurate written than spoken inflections. This double dissociation supports the hypothesis that the systems used for written and spoken morphological processing are independent.

The Sound of Intellect: Speech Reveals a Thoughtful Mind, Increasing a Job Candidate’s Appeal

Juliana Schroeder and Nicholas Epley

How do we judge another person’s intellect? In a series of five experiments, hypothetical employers and professional recruiters watched, listened to, or read identical pitches given by job candidates. The researchers found that both hypothetical employers and professional recruiters rated candidates as being more competent, thoughtful, and intelligent when the pitch was heard (in either a video or in an audio recording) rather than read. They also reported being more interested in hiring candidates when pitches were presented in an auditory rather than a written format. Voices, therefore, seem to convey qualities that written words do not, something that job candidates may want to keep in mind when communicating with potential employers.

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