In our everyday life, we often need to anticipate the potential occurrence of events and their consequences. In this context, the way we represent contingencies can determine our ability to adapt to the environment. However, it is not clear how agents encode and organize available knowledge about the future to react to possible states of the world. In the present study, we investigated the process of contingency representation with three eye-tracking experiments. In Experiment 1, we introduced a novel relational-inference task in which participants had to learn and represent conditional rules regulating the occurrence of interdependent future events. A cluster analysis on early gaze data revealed the existence of 2 distinct types of encoders. A group of (sophisticated) participants built exhaustive contingency models that explicitly linked states with each of their potential consequences. Another group of (unsophisticated) participants simply learned binary conditional rules without exploring the underlying relational complexity. Analyses of individual cognitive measures revealed that cognitive reflection is associated with the emergence of either sophisticated or unsophisticated representation behavior. In Experiment 2, we observed that unsophisticated participants switched toward the sophisticated strategy after having received information about its existence, suggesting that representation behavior was modulated by strategy generation mechanisms. In Experiment 3, we showed that the heterogeneity in representation strategy emerges also in conditional reasoning with verbal sequences, indicating the existence of a general disposition in building either sophisticated or unsophisticated models of contingencies.
|Titolo:||Gaze Data Reveal Individual Differences in Relational Representation Processes|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|