New Research From Psychological Science

Read about the latest research published in Psychological Science:

Competence Judgments Based on Facial Appearance Are Better Predictors of American Elections Than of Korean Elections

Jinkyung Na, Seunghee Kim, Hyewon Oh, Incheol Choi, and Alice O’Toole

To examine cultural differences in the importance of face-trait judgments, the researchers showed American and Korean participants pairs of images consisting of both the winner and the runner-up of an American or a Korean election. For each image pair, participants indicated which person they thought was the most competent and which person they would be most likely to vote for. Perceived competence was a better predictor of American than of Korean real-world election outcomes. While people from independent cultures (e.g., Americans) may generally use face-based traits to make social judgments, those from interdependent cultures (e.g., Koreans) may choose to use them only when no other information about a person — or candidate — is available.

The Rhythm of Perception: Entrainment to Acoustic Rhythms Induces Subsequent Perceptual Oscillation

Gregory Hickok, Haleh Farahbod, and Kourosh Saberi

The researchers examined the influence of a rhythmic stimulus on subsequent auditory perception by having participants listen to a Gaussian-noise stimulus that was amplitude-modulated at 3 Hz for 3 s and then unmodulated for 1 s. On half the trials, a tone was presented during the unmodulated portion of the noise stimulus. Participants indicated whether they had heard a tone. An analysis of participants’ tone-detection performance indicated an oscillation in perception that was of the same frequency as, but was antiphasic to, the amplitude-modulated signal. The best performance occurred during expected modulation dips, whereas the poorest performance occurred during expected modulation peaks. This finding provides evidence that rhythmic context can influence subsequent auditory perception.

Neurocognitive Mechanisms of Prejudice Formation: The Role of Time-Dependent Memory Consolidation

Luke R. Enge, Amber K. Lupo, and Michael A. Zárate

How are prejudices formed over time? Latino participants viewed images of in-group (Latino) and out-group (Black) targets that were paired with positive or negative trait information. After a 2- to 6-hr delay and a 48-hr delay, participants completed a lexical decision task in which they indicated whether positive words, negative words, and nonwords paired with target images were actually words. Participants responded faster to out-group than to in-group targets when they were paired with negative words and responded faster to in-group than to out-group targets when they were paired with positive words — but only after a 48-hr delay. The authors suggest that processes involved with long-term memory consolidation may play an important role in prejudice formation.


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