Context-specific proportion congruent effects: Compound-cue contingency learning in disguise


Journal Article


Schmidt, J. R., Lemercier, C.




Context-specific proportion congruent effects: Compound-cue contingency learning in disguise

Journal / Livre / Conférence

Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology


Conflict between task-relevant and task-irrelevant stimulus information leads to impairment in response speed and accuracy. For instance, in the colour-word Stroop paradigm, participants respond slower and less accurately to the print colour of incongruent colour words (e.g., “red” printed in green) than to congruent colour words (e.g., “green” in green). Importantly, this congruency effect is diminished when the trials in an experiment are mostly incongruent, relative to mostly congruent, termed a proportion congruent effect. When distracting stimuli are mostly congruent in one context (e.g., location or font) but mostly incongruent in another context (e.g., another location or font), the congruency effect is still diminished in the mostly incongruent context, termed a context-specific proportion congruent (CSPC) effect. Both the standard proportion congruent and CSPC effects are typically interpreted in terms of conflict-driven attentional control, frequently termed conflict adaptation or conflict monitoring. However, in two experiments, we investigated contingency learning confounds in context-specific proportion congruent effects. In particular, two variants of a dissociation procedure are presented with the font variant of the CSPC procedure. In both, robust contingency learning effects were observed. No evidence for context-specific control was observed. In fact, results trended in the wrong direction. In all, the results suggest that CSPC effects may not be a useful way of studying attentional control.






context-specificity, cognitive control, contingency learning, Stroop, proportion congruent effects, attention

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