New Research in Psychological Science

Confidence as a Priority Signal
David Aguilar-Lleyda, Maxime Lemarchand, and Vincent de Gardelle

When dealing with multiple tasks, individuals appear to prioritize tasks in which they have higher confidence. In five experiments, participants sequenced their responses to tasks already completed or yet to be completed based on their confidence levels (i.e., how accurate they thought their decision was/could be). They prioritized reporting their answers to tasks in which they were more confident and preferred to execute easier tasks, associated with higher confidence, before executing more difficult tasks. This pattern occurred for perceptual tasks (e.g., reporting the most frequent letter in an array) and nonperceptual tasks (mental calculation).

Revisiting the Suffixing Preference: Native-Language Affixation Patterns Influence Perception of Sequences
Alexander Martin and Jennifer Culbertson

The previously proposed universal bias to judge sequences differing at their ends as more similar to each other than sequences differing at their beginnings may not explain why, in many languages, there is a preference to form complex words by adding suffixes to words (e.g., “quick-ly”) rather than adding prefixes (e.g., “un-happy”). In this study, speakers of English (a suffixing language) show this bias, but speakers of a prefixing Bantu language show the opposite bias. These findings suggest that speakers’ perceptions of sequences are not universal but influenced by the word-formation patterns in their native language.

Perceiving Locations of Moving Objects Across Eyeblinks
Gerrit W. Maus, Hannah Letitia Goh, and Matteo Lisi

Although eyeblinks disrupt visual input, these disruptions usually go unnoticed. This research shows that this might be because the time during eyeblinks is compressed and filled with extrapolated visual information. In two experiments, Maus and colleagues studied how people perceive moving objects before, after, and during eyeblinks. They found that when an object’s motion terminated during a blink, participants shifted its last perceived position forward from its actual last position. Participants also perceived motion trajectories as more continuous when an object jumped backward during a blink than when it jumped between blinks.

Cheaters, Liars, or Both? A New Classification of Dishonesty Profiles
David Pascual-Ezama, Drazen Prelec, Adrián Muñoz, and Beatriz Gil-Gómez de Liaño

Pascual-Ezama and colleagues examined honesty at the individual level and identified new dishonesty profiles—those who are cheaters, those who are liars, and those who are both. In two experiments allowing multiple levels of dishonesty, participants reported the results of an unsupervised coin toss or a die roll, knowing that different responses meant different money rewards. Among dishonest participants, some did not even complete the tasks and just lied about the outcomes. Others completed the task but lied about the outcomes, and others performed the tasks multiple times until they felt the outcomes were acceptable.

Breaking Bread Produces Bigger Pies: An Empirical Extension of Shared Eating to Negotiations and a Commentary on Woolley and Fishbach (2019)
Jiyin Cao, Dejun Tony Kong, and Adam D. Galinsky

Cao and colleagues replicate Woolley and Fishbach’s (2019) findings, in which individuals who ate from shared plates were more likely to cooperate while negotiating than those who ate from separate plates. As in the original study, negotiators cooperated and were more likely to reach the best solution possible after shared eating. These findings extend the original findings because (a) instead of sequential decisions without communication, negotiators made decisions jointly and communicated face-to-face, and (b) negotiators were able to take on complex negotiations (as many as eight issues) rather than just one issue (e.g., strike days).

Can Item Effects Explain Away the Evidence for Unconscious Sound Symbolism? An Adversarial Commentary on Heyman, Maerten, Vankrunkelsven, Voorspoels, and Moors (2019)
Hugh Rabagliati, Pieter Moors, and Tom Heyman

Heyman and colleagues (2019) replicated the finding that people unconsciously associate sounds with shapes (e.g., kiki: spiky shapes). However, there are concerns about whether these findings are generalizable and truly mean that people associate sounds and forms even if they are unaware of the sounds and forms (i.e., unconscious). The authors highlight these concerns and discuss how they might be resolved, presenting an integration of the critiques, by Rabagliati, and the counterarguments, by Heyman and Moors. This collaboration between the authors of the original study and an author criticizing it offers a path for future studies about sound symbolism.

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