From competition to facilitation: temporal contiguity determines interactions between events in human Action-Outcome performance
MetadataShow full item record
Three experiments (n=81, n=81, n=82 respectively) explored how temporal contiguity influences Action-Outcome learning, assessing whether an intervening signal competed, facilitated, or had no effect on performance and causal attribution in undergraduate participants. Across experiments, we observed competition and facilitation as a function of the temporal contiguity between Action and Outcome. When there was a strong temporal relationship between Action and Outcome, the signal competed with the action, hindering instrumental performance but not causal attribution (Experiments 1 and 3). However, with weak temporal contiguity, the same signal facilitated both instrumental performance and causal attribution (Experiments 1 and 2). Finally, the physical intensity of the signal determined the magnitude of competition. As anticipated by associative learning models, a more salient signal disrupted to a greater extent instrumental performance (Experiment 3). The current results can be accounted for by a recent adaptation of configural theory of learning (Herrera et al., 2021).
- Learning, Psychology of
- Paired-association learning
- Association of ideas
- cue competition; overshadowing; potentiation; temporal contiguity; action-outcome
- Biological Sciences::Psychology::Cognitive & affective psychology::Psychology of memory & learning
- B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion::BF Psychology
- University of Nottingham, UK Campus::Faculty of Science::School of Psychology
Data typeBehavioural data (number of presses and judgments)
- Alcalá, José
- Economic & Social Research Council
Data collection methodThe data was collected whilst participants participated in the experiments. In each experiment, participants were experienced different conditions (within-subjects designs). The experiment was written in Psychopy and hosted in Pavlovia for online data collection.