Target-response associations can eliminate task-switching costs but not response congruency effects

Li, X., Li, B., Liu, X., Lages, M. and Stoet, G. (2019) Target-response associations can eliminate task-switching costs but not response congruency effects. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 40. (doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00040) (PMID:30804824) (PMCID:PMC6378947)

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In task-switching experiments with bivalent target stimuli, conflicts during response selection give rise to response-congruency effects. Typically, participants respond more slowly and make more errors in trials with incongruent targets that require different responses in the two tasks, compared to trials with congruent targets that are associated with the same response in both tasks. Here we investigate whether participants show response-congruency effects when task rules are not made explicit. In two experiments, we assigned task-irrelevant features to each bivalent target. When participants were instructed to apply the task rules, they showed significant task-switching costs as well as response-congruency effects. Importantly, when the same participants did not know the task rules and responded without applying the task rules, they showed response-congruency effects but no switch costs. The significant congruency effects suggest that associations between bivalent target features and responses can be formed passively, even when participants do not follow the task rules and use task-irrelevant target features to make a response.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:ML was supported by Erasmus+ KA2 strategic partnership Tools for Teaching quantitative Thinking (TquanT). XiL was supported by China Postdoctoral International Exchange Program.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lages, Dr Martin and Stoet, Dr Gijsbert
Authors: Li, X., Li, B., Liu, X., Lages, M., and Stoet, G.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Robert Owen Centre
Journal Name:Frontiers in Psychology
Publisher:Frontiers Media
ISSN (Online):1664-1078
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Frontiers in Psychology 10:40
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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