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Practice, stimulus-specific effects and individual differences in task switching

Gul, Amara (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis points to the important roles of learning, individual differences in emotional intelligence (EI) and general intelligence (IQ), and culture (British vs. South Asian), on task switching. Participants switched between word identities and colour and between different face dimensions (emotion, gender and occupation). In general switch costs were reduced as participants practiced. Most interestingly, Stroop interference across blocks of trials was stronger for stimuli that form integrated representations, providing evidence that learned bindings between word forms and colours influence Stroop effects. In a separate study, people with high IQ were generally better able to task-switch while EI had a selective effect depending on the task. Individuals with high EI had low switch costs when emotion classification was involved, but not when switches were made between gender and occupation decisions. In a third set of studies, culture was found to affect the speed of face categorization, which may reflect cultural biases to emotion (in the White British population) and unfamiliarity in using facial cues to gender in South Asian participants. Finally, there was also evidence of implicit coding of facial emotion and gender - but not occupation. The implications for understanding task switching were reviewed in a final chapter.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Humphreys, Glyn W.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Psychology
Subjects:BF Psychology
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3658
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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