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GRAZING TASK INSIGHTS. Changes in writing style : Battle-fatigued soldiers referred to as "burdens to the Army" Changes in permissible topics " The vampire kith and kin" Nature, 1929

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Grazing task insights



Changes in writing style: Battle-fatigued soldiers referred to as "burdens to the Army"

Changes in permissible topics "The vampire kith and kin"Nature, 1929

Evolution of field, e.g. neuroimaging starts with animals, now address musicality, Rate of change in 10-15 yrs.

Obsolescence of hard-copies: new volumes no longer offered in stacks.

Sensory aspect of library: "The 'feel' of touching embossed letters of books", "the smell of old books filled the air."

Grazing and serendipity: From "Learning and memory" to "American Sea Songs"

Serenity of library search: "Look...without the blaring '10,000 articles returned'", "Calming to sit and read."

The poignancy of "forgotten work" : "the older volumes were stuck together; it was as if they hadn't been touched in years."

The price of on-line "efficiency": loss of "what it felt like to stacks."

Grazing task insights


HMAS Sydney Sunk in Indian Ocean 1941;

Found (in part) Via Cog. Psychology 2008

Bartlett's War of the Ghosts schema research, ca. 1930

Create "deviation maps" from Bartlett's original subjects

Apply same method to German sailors' stories

Grazing task insights

Class 6

Concepts and Variables (concluded)

Grazing task insights

Most General Hypothesis

Interracial feedback is biased.

General Hypothesis

Feedback from whites to blacks is positively biased.

Specific Hypothesis

When whites provide performancefeedback for sub-standard work, their feedback will be positively biased if they believe that the feedback recipient is black rather than white.

Experimental Hypothesis

White undergraduatesinstructed to critiquepoorly written essays for purposes of feedback will provide more positive feedback if informed that the essay writer is black rather than white.

Experiments as Expressions of Hypotheses

Grazing task insights

Diagramming the Experimental Sentence

White undergraduate students instructed to critiquepoorly written essays for will provide more positive feedback if informed that the writer is Black rather than White.

Operational Definition

Students who identify themselves as White, not Hispanic, on a survey.

write comments on spelling, content, etc. on the essay

essays contain 5 spelling errors, 14 grammar errors, 5 content errors

subjects’ copy edited comments on essays are supposedly returned to the writer

no. of positive comments – no. of neg. comments

subjects read “self description sheet” supposedly completed by writer that indirectly indicates race, and confirmed by post-expt. manipulation check.


White undergraduate students

instructed to critique

poorly written essays

for … feedback

will provide more positive feedback if

informed that the writer is Black rather than White

Grazing task insights

Lending a Hand: Social Regulation of the Neural Response to Threat

[Coan, J., Schaefer, H., & Davidson, R., (2006) Psych. Science, 17, 1032-1039]

...For this fMRI study, 16 married women were subjected to the threat of electric shock while holding their husband’s hand, the hand of an anonymous male experimenter, or no hand at all. Results indicated an attenuation of activation [in systems regulating threat] when women held their husband’s hand. Most strikingly, the effects of spousal hand-holding on neural threat varied as a function of marital quality ... .

What’s the hypothesis? What are the constructs, the IV, the DV, the operations?

Grazing task insights

Attributes and Aliases of IV and DV Threat

Independent Variable (IV)

Dependent Variable (DV)





Event that E. tries to predict

Event that E. controls or selects

Change in “Y”

Change in “X” 

Grazing task insights

Examples of Independent and Dependent Variables Threat

Independent Variable Dependent Variable

Race of feedback partners  Feedback bias

Social context  Moral choices

(NY vs. Ghakistan)

NOTE: IV can be DV can be IV


Group pressure  Conformity

Conformity  Feedback bias

Grazing task insights

Active vs. Attributive Variables Threat

Active (manipulated): Variables that are manipulated by the experimenter

Friendliness of the confederate

Quality of essay

Attributive (measured): Variables that cannot be manipulated, but are inherent properties.

AKA "organismic variables."

Gender of confederate

Age of subject

Latent variables
Latent Variables Threat

Latent variables are variables that cannot be directly measured.

Latent variables are “emergent” – they arise from the joint association of more particular, measurable variables.

Latent variables are sometimes referred to as “factors”

Factor analysis is method used to discover and confirm latent variables.

Grazing task insights

Latent Variables in Feedback Study: Threat

Essay Mechanics = ??????

????? = Development of argument, clarity of ideas, quality of evidence, interesting presentation, persuasive

Grazing task insights

Latent Variables in Feedback Study: Mechanics vs. Content Threat

Mechanics: Spelling, grammar, word choice

Content: Development of argument, clarity of ideas, quality of evidence, interesting presentation, persuasive

Grazing task insights

Social Support Opinion Survey Opinion Survey(Harber, et al., JASP, 38, 1463-1505)

Grazing task insights


Age induces wisdom. Age is?

Independent Variable

Arousal induced by 50 jumping jacks. Arousal is?

Active Variable

Left-handed vs. Right handed

Attributive Variable

Like self + believe in self + rely on self + listen to self = Esteem

Latent Variable

Health is affected by exercise. Health is?

Dependent Variable

Moderators and mediators

Moderators and Mediators Opinion Survey

Class 7

Grazing task insights

Breaking News: Mud Improves Memory!!! Opinion Survey

FLASH! Explorers in the Amazon have discovered an amazing “memory mud”. When smeared on the forehead it vastly improves short term memory. However, it appears that “mem-mud” works only for certain kinds of people in certain places at certain times. The mud appears to have its powerful effects because it ……[SIGNAL LOST].

What questions arise?

Who does it work for, under what conditions, at what times?

Why does it work?

Moderators mediators and mem mud
Moderators, Mediators, and Mem-mud Opinion Survey

Moderator:What are the conditions under which Mem-mud works, and for whom does it work?

Mediator:Why does Mem-mud work

Moderator: The limiting conditions that determine and effect or outcome (e.g., when, or for whom)

Mediator: The underlying cause; Why something occurs.

Grazing task insights


A moderator is a variable that affects the direction or strength of the relationship between a predictor (IV) and an outcome (DV).

A  B, if C is a moderator model.

A = Predictor

B = Outcome

C = Moderator

Changes in the moderator will affect the relation between IV and DV.  

Moderators directly explain how and when events occur (but can also indirectly indicate why they occur).

Moderator can be:

* qualitative variable (race, sex, etc.)

* quantitative variable (perceived risk, mood)

Grazing task insights

MODERATOR DEFINED, Cont. Opinion Survey

Moderator is always an Independent Variable

Moderator should be un-correlated to DV

Moderators sought when there is weak or inconsistent relationship between IV and DV.

Moderator confirmed only if interaction between moderator and main IV is significant.

Grazing task insights

Uncontrollable Event Opinion Survey

(World Economy Fails)

Controllable Event

(Made Bad Investments)

Event ↔ illness

r = .56

Event ↔ illness

r = .18

Moderation: Correlation Between IV and DV is High in One Condition But Not in Another.

These two results say what about bad events and illness?

Major life events  increased illness, IF event is uncontrollable.

Moderator is?


Grazing task insights


Predictor (IV)

Moderators (IV)

Outcome Variable (DV)

Predictor X Moderator

P X M Interaction Must be significant

Recipient race (IV)

Self-image risk(IV)

Feedback Positivity (DV)

Race X Risk

p < .005

Grazing task insights

Feedback Bias With and Without Opinion Survey

Content/Mechanics as Moderator

Moderator recipes
Moderator “Recipes” Opinion Survey

a. IV is qualitative (dichotomous, polychotomous, Mod. is qualitatitve (dichotomous, polychotomous)

b. IV is qualitative, Mod. is quantitative

c. IV is quantitative, Mod. is qualitative

d. IV is quantitative, Mod. is quantitative

Grazing task insights

Social Context, Disclosure, and Baby Cries Opinion Survey

Primary IV?

Social Contact




Distress Rating


IV is Qualitative, and Moderator is Qualitative

Grazing task insights

Height Perception as Function of Social Contact Opinion SurveyAdapted from Schnall, Harber, Stefanucci, & Proffitt, 2008;Results amplified for purposes of illustration

Primary IV?

Social Contact




Hill slant


IV is Qualitative, and Moderator is Quantitative

Grazing task insights

Primary IV? Opinion Survey





Endorsement of Directive Support


IV is Quantitative, and Moderator is Qualitative

Grazing task insights

Self Esteem and the Use of Affect as Information Opinion Survey

(Harber, 2005)

Mild upset = 1 SD < mean, Moderate upset = mean, Extreme upset = 1 SD > mean.

Primary IV?





Baby Cry Ratings


IV is Qualitative and Moderator is Qualitative

Grazing task insights

MEDIATION Opinion Survey

1. History: S  R explanations do not address full range of psychological phenomena. In many cases, SOR makes more sense.

2. Function: Mediational analyses designed to test for SOR causal paths.

3. Mediation Defined: “the effects of stimuli on behavior are mediated by various transformations internal to the organism.”

4. Utility: Mediators directly explain why events occur (but can also provide clues to how and when they occur).

5. Character: Mediators are latent variables, or latent constructs.

Grazing task insights

Attributes of Mediators Opinion Survey

1. Changes in IV account for changes in mediator

2. Changes in mediator account for changes in DV.

3. When links between IV to Mediator, and between Mediator to DV are established, the link between IV and DV becomes non-significant, or becomes significantly decreased.

Grazing task insights

Mediational Model Opinion Survey







When Mediation is present:

r (a) is significant

r (b) is significant

r ( c ), which was significant before the mediator was included, is either not significant or is much weaker

after mediator is included.

Grazing task insights

Self-Image Concerns Opinion Survey




Positive Bias

Race of Recipient

Mediational Model and Feedback Studies

Grazing task insights



Moderator to mediator: Knowing how external variables affect outcomes can imply the existence of mediators.

Mediator to Moderator: Knowing why underlying mechanism affects outcomes can suggest ways of addressing, remedying, altering the outcome.

Grazing task insights

Why Do People Need Self Esteem? Opinion Survey

Converging Evidence that Self Esteem Provides an Anxiety-Buffering Function

Greenberg, et al., 2000

Three studies were conducted to assess the proposition that self-esteem serves an anxiety-buffering function. In Study 1, it was hypothesized that raising self-esteem would reduce anxiety in response to vivid images of death. In support of this hypothesis, subjects who received positive personality feedback reported less anxiety in response to a video about death than did neutral feedback subjects. …. .




Grazing task insights

Greenberg, et al. 2000 Opinion Survey

Scary Images


Self Esteem




Scary Images X Self Esteem

Grazing task insights

Anxiety as a Function of Opinion Survey

Threat Salience and Level of Self Esteem

Greenberg, et al., 2000

Grazing task insights

Visceral Perception and Nonconscious Fear Conditioning Opinion Survey

Katkin, Wiens, & Öhman, 2001

Previous research shows that people conditioned to fear certain kinds of stimuli such as snakes or spiders are subsequently better able to detect hidden images of these stimuli compared to people who are not conditioned. The current research predicts that this heightened sensitivity is restricted to people who are good at detecting their own heartbeats (good heartbeat monitors). This prediction was confirmed; when good heartbeat monitors are excluded from analysis the effect of fear conditioning on stimuli sensitivity disappears. [ABSTRACT MODIFIED ]




Grazing task insights

Katkin, Wiens, & Opinion SurveyÖhman, 2001

Heartbeat Monitors




Stimuli Sensitivity

Conditioned Fear

Grazing task insights

Ultimate Mediation? Opinion Survey

The Epistemological Challenge of Science 

Multiple underlying causes:

Disclosure --> Emotional resolution --> less stress --> immune boost --> health

Race of recipient --> egalitarian concerns --> self-image concerns --> bias

Ultimate underlying causes:

Disclosure ---> coping (Pennebaker, 1989)

Disclosure --> [????] --> coping

Disclosure --> self-affirmation --> coping (Cresswell, et al., 2007)

Disclosure --> self-affirmation --> [????] --> coping

Path analyses and causal models
Path Analyses and Causal Models Opinion Survey

  • Attend. in 21st Century program  improved performance by minority students.

  • 21st Century program based on theory of stereotype-threat. When threat is high, minority students do less well.

  • Stereotype threat is itself a problem because it causes minority students to disidentify with academics.

    What is the causal model? What would be strong and weak correlational links in this model?

Grazing task insights

First Semester Grades as Predicted by Stereotype Threat, Identification with School, and Participation in 21st Century Program

ID with School

Stereo. Threat

21st Cent. Prog.


Task: What are IVs, DVs?

What are moderators (if any)?

What mediators (if any)?

Put these in correct path

Estimate relations between variables, outcome