Recent Research


Using SuperLab to Improve Understanding of Research Design

posted Nov 13, 2013, 8:55 PM by Chris Koch

Abstract:  Psychology majors often do not have technical experience designing computer-based experiments.  While there may be practical reasons for encouraging students to develop experiments using a programming language or experimental software package, an important pedagogical question is whether or not doing so increases student understanding of experimental design.  Students were required to develop an experiment using SuperLab in an advanced research methods class.  Research topics were chosen individually by students.  Experiments were evaluated with a rubric common to computer science programs.  Students indicated that they had a better understanding of how to design and deliver and experiment as a result of completing the SuperLab assignment.  Furthermore, they indicated that they understood how to organize and efficiently create an experiment using SuperLab.  Learning how to properly develop an experiment, however, is limited in its transfer.  For instance, developing an experiment did not necessarily help students understand the data produced from the study.  Therefore, teaching how to develop computerized experiments can provide a context for a larger review of research-related skills including data file management and statistical analysis.   Interestingly, when asked an open-ended question at the end of the course, 10 of the 17 students indicated that they would like to spend more time designing additional experiments, more time using SuperLab, and more time working with data files.  These responses are consistent with the idea that developing computer-based experiments increasing interest in designing experiments and a context for working on additional research-related skills.

Poster presented at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Computers in Psychology. November 14, 2013 (Toronto).

The Relationship between Continuous Performance Tasks and Color-Word and Nonverbal Stroop Tasks

posted Nov 13, 2013, 8:50 PM by Chris Koch   [ updated Nov 13, 2013, 8:53 PM ]

Christopher Koch and Kristy Luther

George Fox University

 Abstract.  Nonverbal Stroop tasks produce results that parallel those found with the color-word Stroop task (Koch & Roid, 2012) yet the question remains whether verbal and nonverbal Stroop tasks measure the same cognitive process.  Two nonverbal Stroop tasks, one color-word Stroop task, and a continuous performance test were administered to determine the degree to which nonverbal tasks are related to each other, to the color-word Stroop task, and to other attentional processes.  Results indicate that all three Stroop tasks produce interference but that nonverbal Stroop tasks may reflect a different underlying cognitive process than associated with the color-word Stroop task.

Poster presented at the 21st Annual Conference on Object Perception, Attention, and Memory. November 14, 2013 (Toronto).

Hemispheric Differences in Verbal and Nonverbal Stroop Tasks

posted Nov 13, 2013, 8:46 PM by Chris Koch

Christopher Koch and Casey Millerick 

George Fox University

Abstract: Researchers have generally found greater color-word Stroop interference in the left hemisphere than in the right hemisphere (e.g., Weekes and Zaidel, 1996).  Nonverbal Stroop tasks (e.g., Koch and Roid, 2012), however, eliminate words.  Two experiments were conducted to test whether or not this difference produces differences in hemispheric processing.   In Experiment 1, a typical color-word Stroop task was presented.  Results showed slower response times and more interference for the RVF.  In Experiment 2, the procedure was repeated except color-color stimuli were presented.  Results revealed no differences across hemispheres.  Therefore, nonverbal Stroop tasks appear to be processed differently than the original color-word task.

Poster presented at the 21st Annual Conference on Object Perception, Attention, and Memory. November 14, 2013 (Toronto)

Color-Word Stroop, Nonverbal Stroop, and Spanish-English Bilinguals

posted Nov 13, 2013, 8:42 PM by Chris Koch

The Effects of English-Spanish Bilingualism on Assessing Attention

Christopher Koch & Remi Gentry

George Fox University

Abstract: Nonverbal tasks attempt to minimize the effect of language on performance.  Fifteen Spanish-English bilingual and 34 English monolingual college students completed English and Spanish versions of the Color and Word Stroop Test (CWST) and the Nonverbal Stroop Card Sorting Test (NSCST).  Both groups showed significant interference on the CWST with bilinguals being slower on the Spanish version than the English version.  Likewise, both groups showed significant interference on the NSCST with bilinguals being slower, especially for the incongruent condition.  Covarying color naming eliminated this interaction suggesting that it may be a mitigating variable in Stroop interference.  

Poster presented at the21st Annual Conference on Object Perception, Attention, and Memory.  November 14, 2013 (Toronto)

Facial Feedback, Training, and the Perception of Facial Emotions

posted Nov 15, 2012, 8:23 AM by Chris Koch

Christopher Koch & Michael Broughal
Abstract. Contrary to Carney, Cuddy, and Yao (2010), Koch and Broughal (2011) found that posture did not influence the perception of facial emotions.  The current study was conducted to examine other factors that might contribute to recognizing emotions.  Specifically, four different training strategies were compared in order to determine the most effective method for improving the perception of facial emotions.  Subjects were  randomly assigned into the control, facial feedback, METT and SETT training, and facial feedback combined with METT and SETT training conditions.  After the training session, subjects indicated the emotional expression on a series of static facial images.  Results suggest that facial feedback plays a limited role in recognizing the facial emotions of others.
Poster presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society

An Android App for the Nonverbal Stroop Card Sorting Task

posted Nov 15, 2012, 8:19 AM by Chris Koch   [ updated Nov 15, 2012, 8:24 AM ]

Christopher Koch & Josiah Hotovec
Abstract. The Nonverbal Stroop Card Sorting Task (NSCST, Koch & Roid, 2012) is a nonverbal Stroop assessment that requires examinees to sort cards according to target colors.  Two color blocks appear on each card with a cross being centered in block to indicate that it is the target.  In the congruent condition, both color blocks are the same color.  In the incongruent condition, the two blocks are different colors.  Sorting times are longer for the incongruent condition than for the congruent condition.  Although the task is relatively straightforward and easy to administer, the use cards does place some constraints on where and how the test can be administered.  Therefore, an Android app was developed to administer the NSCST using a tablet or other Android device.  Data comparing the physical and app versions of the task was collected.  Implications for testing are discussed. 
Poster presented at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Computers in Psychology

Shyness, Positive and Negative Affect, Life Satisfaction, and Video Games

posted Nov 15, 2012, 8:12 AM by Chris Koch

Christopher Koch & Mary Kate Koch
Abstract. Although the relationship between shyness and social media has been a target of research, the literature regarding shyness and video gaming is underdeveloped. In the present study,127 (39  male and 88 female, Mage = 19.70) college students completed the Positive Affect and Negative Affect Scales (Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988), the Shyness Scale (Cheek & Melichor, 1985), the Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diender, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985), along with a demographic questionnaire.  Respondents who missed a meal due to playing video games were more shy and expressed greater negative affect than those who had not. Respondents who missed a class or had been late for an appointment due to playing videogames also had greater negative affect. These results suggest that negative affect, not shyness, is associated with disruptive gaming behaviors.
Poster presented at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Computers in Psychology

A Nonverbal Assessment of Attention among Children with Autism

posted Nov 15, 2012, 8:06 AM by Chris Koch   [ updated Nov 15, 2012, 8:25 AM ]

Christopher Koch & Gale Roid
Abstract. The color-word Stroop task is often used to assess inhibitory processing. However, the task is language and reading related which may make the task inappropriate for certain populations including individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Adams and Jarrold, 2009). Therefore, the present study was conducted to examine the effectiveness of a nonverbal Stroop task for examining inhibitory processing among individuals with autism. A sample of 42 autistic participants was compared to a matched control group. Both groups showed Stroop interference. The results also suggest that Stroop interference among autistic individuals is not due to deficits in language or reading ability but may be limited to impaired inhibitory processing.
Poster presented at the 32 Annual Conference of the National Academy of Neuropsychology

Comparing verbal and nonverbal Stroop tasks: A synesthesia case study

posted Apr 6, 2012, 2:02 AM by Chris Koch

Kelsi Buswell & Christopher Koch

Summary.  Synesthesia is a condition in which senses are crossed so that one sensory modality evokes a response from another.  A common form of this condition is grapheme-color synesthesia.  In this type of synesthesia, numbers or letters are associated particular colors.  The Stroop task requires that an individual identify the color a word is printed in.  When the word (e.g., RED) matches the color (red), responses are relatively fast and can show Stroop facilitation.  However, when the word (RED) does not match the color (e.g., blue), responses are relatively slow indicating Stroop interference.  Modified versions of the Stroop task have been used with synesthetes (Elias, Saucier, Hardie, & Sarty, 2003).  Results from these studies suggest that graphemes automatically elicit a color experience.  Furthermore, the results are consistent with associations at the semantic and perceptual levels (Mroczko, Metsinger, Singer, & Nikolić, 2009).  These levels may also represent different underlying mechanisms for processing interference-inducing stimuli (cf., Berteletti, Hubbard, & Zorzi, 2010; Mroczko, Metsinger, Singer, & Nikolić, 2009).  In the present study, verbal and nonverbal Stroop tasks are compared to gain a more thorough understanding of the manner in which different Stroop tasks are processed.  D.P. completed a synesthesia interview (Grossenbacher & Lovelace, 2001) and a standardized test battery for synesthesia (Eagleman, Kagan, Nelson, Sagaram, & Sarma, 2007).  These assessments indicated that D.P. is a grapheme-color synesthete (associator type).  D.P. was administered three Stroop tasks including the Color and Word Stroop Test (Golden, 1978), a nonverbal Stroop task from the Leiter-3, and the Nonverbal Stroop Card Sorting Task (Koch & Roid, 2012).  The results show that D.P. performs the verbal and nonverbal Stroop tasks within normal limits.  However, the process by which the Nonverbal Stroop Card Sorting Task is completed may be quite different.  Instead of sorting cards by color, the cards are sorted by “odd” and “even”.  Additional follow-up research is being conducted to determine how D.P. processes each individual card in the card sorting task.  Implications for understanding Stroop processing, especially nonverbal Stroop processing, are discussed.

Poster presented at the 2012 Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience Oregon Chapter

Nonverbal Stroop Tasks

posted Feb 23, 2012, 11:06 PM by Chris Koch

Abstract: Non-verbal tasks not only allow us to minimize the role of language on assessment but they also help provide unique insights into psychological phenomenon.  For instance, previous developmental research using the color-word Stroop task has shown an S-shaped function with Stroop interference increasing until approximately third grade at which point interference levels off before increasing again in old age.  Presumably, the early changes in interference are at least partly due to reading level while the later changes are due to aging.  However, developmental research using a non-verbal Stroop task shows a similar pattern.  Therefore, the changes in Stroop interference found in previous research may have less to do with learning to read and reading level and more to do with the development attentional processing.
Nonverbal Stroop Tasks was presented in a symposium on Innovations in Nonverbal Cognitive and Neuropsychological Assessment with Gale Roid, Jamie Martin, and Carla Mazefsky.  A pdf copy of the slides from that presentation can be found below along with a Flash version of the presentation.  The symposium handout is also available below.

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