ABSTRACTPerception of emotion in the face is a key component of human social cognition and is considered vital for many domains of life; however, little is known about how this ability differs across the lifespan for men and women. We addressed this question with a large community sample of persons ranging from younger than 15 to older than 60 years of age. Participants were viewers of the television show “Tout le Monde Joue”, and the task was presented on television, with (...) participants responding via their mobile devices. Applying latent variable modeling, and establishing measurement invariance between males and females and across age, we found that, for both males and females, emotion perception abilities peak between the ages of 15 and 30, with poorer performance by younger adults and declining performance after the age of 30. In addition, we show a consistent advantage by females across the lifespan, which decreases in magnitude with increasing age. This large scale study with a wide ran... (shrink)
Oaksford and Chater (1994) proposed to analyse the Wason selection task as an inductive instead of a deductive task. Applying Bayesian statistics, they concluded that the cards that participants tend to select are those with the highest expected information gain. Therefore, their choices seem rational from the perspective of optimal data selection. We tested a central prediction from the theory in three experiments: card selection frequencies should be sensitive to the subjective probability of occurrence for individual cards. In Experiment 1, (...) expected frequencies of the p- and the q-card were manipulated independently by concepts referring to large vs. small sets. Although the manipulation had an effect on card selection frequencies, there was only a weak correlation between the predicted and the observed patterns. In the second experiment, relative frequencies of individual cards were manipulated more directly by explicit frequency information. In addition, participants estimated probabilities for the four logical cases and of the conditional statement itself. The experimental manipulations strongly affected the probability estimates, but were completely unrelated to card selections. This result was replicated in a third experiment. We conclude that our data provide little support for optimal data selection theory. (shrink)
In light of Jaswal & Akhtar's compelling argument, we argue there should instead be more focus on deficits in socio-emotional abilities. However, current research is limited by the psychometric problems with most measures. We discuss specific problems, outlining examples for theory of mind. We conclude with recommendations for new lines of research derived from findings in the individual differences literature.