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THE EMBODIED CAUSAL REASONER. Vanja Vlajnic Kelly Goedert , Ph.D. Department of Psychology Seton Hall University. Traditional Cognitive Psychology. Embodied Cognition. Cognitive processes rooted in body’s interactions with its environment ( Hegarty , 2004 )

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the embodied causal reasoner

THE EMBODIED CAUSAL REASONER

Vanja Vlajnic

Kelly Goedert, Ph.D.

Department of Psychology

Seton Hall University

traditional cognitive psychology
Traditional Cognitive Psychology

Embodied Cognition

  • Cognitive processes rooted in body’s interactions with its environment (Hegarty, 2004)
  • Irrelevant aspects of perceptual and motor characteristics can affect cognition
  • Modularized view of the mind (Fodor 1983)
  • Irrelevant aspects of perceptual and motor characteristics cannot affect cognition
traditional cognitive psychology1
Traditional Cognitive Psychology
  • One possible example of box-and-arrow diagram of information processing
  • Each module functions independent of all others
embodiment effects on higher level cognition
Embodiment Effects on Higher-Level Cognition
  • Artificially moving eyes in particular pattern consistent with the problem solution  likelihood to solve the problem-solving task (Thomas and Lleras, 2007)
  • Gesturing while learning new mathematical concept = children more likely to retain the knowledge (Cook, Mitchell, and Goldin-Meadow, 2008)
  • Sitting upright and erect  persistence in puzzle-solving (Risking and Gotay, 1982)
causal learning
Causal Learning

Effect

Present

Absent

Present

Cause

Absent

  • When the values of all the cells are known, we are able to assess and calculate the contingency from the causal relationship between the cause and effect
  • Causal inference from learned contingency information (Cheng, 1997)
proposed study embodiment in causal learning
Proposed Study: Embodiment in Causal Learning
  • Determine whether motor actions irrelevant to determining causal relationships affect causal learning
sample learning trial
Sample Learning Trial

Participants will predict whether the plant blooms or not while moving marbles in a certain direction

design
Design
  • The proposed experiment will consist of a 2x2x3 mixed factorial design with a total of 48 trials
    • Within-subjects:
      • Direction of causal elements (cause  effect, effect  cause)

Condition: Cause  Effect Condition: Effect  Cause

design1
Design
  • The proposed experiment will consist of a 2x2x3 mixed factorial design with a total of 48 trials
    • Within-subjects:
      • Direction of causal elements (cause  effect, effect cause)
      • Contingency values (0.00, 0.25)
        • Subjects will be learning about contingency values throughout the experiment
    • Between-subjects:
      • Movement direction of the marbles (left-to-right, right-to-left, no movement)
slide10

Causal Learning

Frequency Contingency Table for 0.00 value

Frequency Contingency Table for 0.25 value

Effect

Effect

Present

Absent

Present

Absent

Present

Present

Cause

Cause

Absent

Absent

Causal Power = 0.00

Causal Power = 0.25

(Cheng, 1997)

design2
Design
  • The proposed experiment will consist of a 2x2x3 mixed factorial design with a total of 48 trials
    • Within-subjects:
      • Direction of causal elements (cause  effect, effect cause)
      • Contingency values (0.00, 0.25)
        • Subjects will be learning about contingency values throughout the experiment
    • Between-subjects:
      • Movement direction of the marbles (left-to-right, right-to-left, no movement)
hypothesis
Hypothesis
  • Congruent directions of unrelated motor actions and causal elements will facilitate causal learning
  • Incongruent directions of motor actions and causal elements will hinder causal learning

Direction of Causal Elements

Cause  Effect

Effect  Cause

L  R

Direction of Marble Movement

R  L

primary dv difference between causal judgment for 0 and 25 contingencies
Primary DV: Difference Between Causal Judgment for 0 and .25 Contingencies

Congruent movement will improve discrimination.

Incongruent movement will impair discrimination.

discussion
Discussion
  • No one has looked at the effects of embodiment on causal learning so regardless of findings, should be informative
  • If causal reasoning is facilitated in congruent conditions and hindered in incongruent conditions
    • Supports hypothesis that congruent states of cognitive tasks and embodiment result in fewer processing resources necessary for task (Barsalou et al., 2003)
slide17

Causal Learning

Frequency Contingency Table for 0.00 value

Frequency Contingency Table for 0.25 value

Effect

Effect

Present

Absent

Present

Absent

Present

Present

Cause

Cause

Absent

Absent

Causal Power(p)

p = (6/9) – (2/3) / (1 – 2/3) = 0.00

p = (5/8) – (2/4) / (1 – 0.5) = 0.25

Each of the 48 trials represent one of the events in the contingency table seen above

(Cheng, 1997)

traditional cognitive psychology2
Traditional Cognitive Psychology
  • Disembodied reasoner and thinker (Pylyshyn, 1984)
  • Cognitive processes operate on symbolic mental representations (Fodor, 1983)
  • Modularized view of the brain (Uttal, 2003)
  • Irrelevant aspects of perceptual and motor characteristics cannot affect cognition
embodied cognition
Embodied Cognition
  • Irrelevant aspects of perceptual and motor characteristics canaffect cognition
  • Cognitive processes rooted in body’s interactions with its environment (Hegarty, 2004)
  • People use their bodies and actions to think (Anderson, Richardson, and Chemero, 2012)