Can Contingency Learning Alone Account for Item-Specific Control? Evidence From Within- and Between-Language ISPC Effects

Mısırlısoy, Mine
The item-specific proportion congruence (ISPC) manipulation (Jacoby, Lindsay, & Hessels, 2003) produces larger Stroop interference for mostly congruent items than mostly incongruent items. This effect has been attributed to dynamic control over word-reading processes. However, proportion congruence of an item in the ISPC manipulation is completely confounded with response contingency, suggesting the alternative hypothesis, that the ISPC effect is a result of learning response contingencies (Schmidt & Besner, 2008). The current study asks whether the ISPC effect can be explained by a pure stimulus response contingency-learning account, or whether other control processes play a role as well, by comparing within- and between-language conditions in a bilingual task. Experiment 1 showed that contingency learning for noncolor words was larger for the within-language than the between-language condition. Experiment 2 revealed significant ISPC effects for both within- and between-language conditions; importantly, the effect was larger in the former. The results of the contingency analyses for Experiment 2 were parallel to that of Experiment 1 and did not show an interaction between contingency and congruency. Put together, these sets of results support the view that contingency-learning processes dominate color word ISPC effects.


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Cognitive control is generally measured with the Stroop effect which is signified by slow responses in the incongruent (the word and color mismatch) items. The magnitude of the Stroop effect is modulated by experimental manipulations, for instance it is reduced by presenting items in mostly incongruent contexts as compared to mostly congruent contexts. The difference between the Stroop effects observed in these contexts is called the context specific proportion congruency (CSPC) effect. A large number of CS...
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Citation Formats
N. B. ATALAY and M. Mısırlısoy, “Can Contingency Learning Alone Account for Item-Specific Control? Evidence From Within- and Between-Language ISPC Effects,” JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-LEARNING MEMORY AND COGNITION, pp. 1578–1590, 2012, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: