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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2018 Nov;19(4):537-544.
doi: 10.1007/s10339-018-0870-9. Epub 2018 Jun 18.

The Face-Specific Proportion Congruency Effect: Social Stimuli as Contextual Cues

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Randomized Controlled Trial

The Face-Specific Proportion Congruency Effect: Social Stimuli as Contextual Cues

Gloria Jiménez-Moya et al. Cogn Process. .

Abstract

Previous research shows that larger interference is observed in contexts associated with a high proportion of congruent trials than in those associated with a low proportion of congruent trials. Given that one of the most relevant contexts for human beings is social context, researchers have recently explored the possibility that social stimuli could also work as contextual cues for the allocation of attentional control. In fact, it has been shown that individuals use social categories (i.e., men and women) as cues to allocate attentional control. In this work, we go further by showing that individual faces (instead of the social categories they belong to) associated with a high proportion of congruent trials can also lead to larger interference effects compared to individual faces predicting a relatively low proportion of congruent trials. Furthermore, we show that faces associated with a high proportion of congruent trials are more positively evaluated than faces associated with a high proportion of incongruent trials. These results demonstrate that unique human faces are potential contextual cues than can be employed to apply cognitive control when performing an automatic task.

Keywords: Attentional control; Congruency; Human face; Interference effect; Social context.

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