Cognition and Context

Cognition and Context

Our objectives can be described within 4 main areas:

  • In the domain of deductive reasoning, we intend to continue our work about semantic and pragmatic modulation (e.g., Quelhas, Johnson-Laird, & Juhos, 2010). Our aim, in 2011, was to show that modulation can introduce temporal and spatial relations, and its consequences in mental representation (mental models), and reasoning (with conditionals and disjunctions). Given a reviewer criticism to our material (conditional sentences),
    we have replicate all experiments with new sentences, and we get even better results, published now in Cognition (Juhos, Quelhas, Johnson-Laird, 2012).
    Another aim was to explore intentionality (reasons for actions) in deductive reasoning, in collaboration with Ruth Byrne (Trinity College, Dublin), which is a novelty in the domain of deduction, For that purpose, we used conditional sentences with reason-action sequences (external reasons like obligations and social norms, as well as internal reasons like goals and beliefs). Our key research question is, are there different sorts of reasons, that is, strong, weak and enabling reasons, just as there are strong, weak and enabling causes? Throughout the amount of alternatives (A) and disablers (D) Pp gave, we classify the conditional sentences as Strong (few A and few D), Week (many A), and Enabling (many D).
    The next step is to show the implications of those different kinds of reasons/causes on reasoning performance. Our hypotheses are that: Strong reasons/causes express a one-to one relation with their actions/effects, that is, a biconditonal relation, and support the four conditional inferences. Weak reasons/causes express a many-to-one ‘conditional’ relation, and support two conditional inferences: MP and MT. And enabling reasons/causes express a one-to-many ‘allowing’ relation, and support two different conditional inferences: DA, and AC.
  • Garcia-Marques and collaborators’ work continued to explore the FARM Model (Familiarity as a regulation mechanism; Garcia-Marques, 1999) focusing the relation between fluency/familiarity and their impact in attention, memory, judgments and information processing modes. Main interest has been developed around the Illusion of truth paradigm that is explored as a good route to test some of the model assumptions (a funded project) and around time and duration judgments paradigm.
    A second main line of research is now clear established around the funded project that will allow us to characterize heuristics processing.
    Minor original projects in course are: the study of relationship between agreeability and expertise (named “Dr House effect”); the embodiment approach to priming effects; the relation between correction and suppression processes; the Context Sensibility Hypothesis of social facilitation; the Multiple Associations between intelligence and likeability approach; the role of Self monitoring in processing. All empirical work associated with this minor projects is made with the collaboration of PhD and Master students in the course of their dissertations.
  • The scientific work of 2011 focused on the tradeoff model developed by Scholten and Read (2010). In line Task 3 of the FCT project, we developed parametric specifications of the tradeoff model and an earlier model developed by Scholten and Read (2006), the interval-discounting model). The purpose of this exercise was to prepare both models for empirical tests on data that contain numerous anomalies in intertermporal choice, such as the
    delay effect, the magnitude effect, the sign effect, the delay-speedup asymmetry, subadditivity, superadditivity, and intransitivity. In line with Task 4 of the FCT project, we collected data and tested quantitative predictions of the tradeoff model and the interval-discounting model. While Task 3 is concluded, Task 4 is ongoing.
  • Sustainable approaches to workplace safety and well-being.
    Current approaches to organizational practices and performance consider the repercussions of discrete organizational issues such as error management, occupational fatigue, workplace violence, workplace diversity among others. Although consequences for organizational safety and individual well-being have been identified, recent approaches highlight the relevance of multilevel designs and the integration of multilevel consequences. In this sense, workplace safety also involves micro and meso indicators and well-being at work requires organizational, group and individual markers. Similar approaches will also be adopted in the study of workplace violence and cultural diversity. Recent research on multiculturalism considers cultural diversity and its management as a competitive organizational strategy supported by specific HR practices.