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Vartanian O.,Defence RandD Canada Toronto | Vartanian O.,University of Toronto | Nakashima A.,Defence RandD Canada Toronto | Bouak F.,Defence RandD Canada Toronto | And 3 more authors.
Cognitive Processing | Year: 2013

Recently, studies have demonstrated that negative valence reduces the magnitude of the belief-bias effect in syllogistic reasoning. This effect has been localized in the reasoning stage, in the form of increased deliberation on trials where validity and conclusion believability are incongruent. Here, using signal detection theory, we show that the attenuation of belief bias observed when valence was negative can also be evoked by a liberal response bias at the decision stage. Indeed, when valence was negative participants adopted a more liberal criterion for judging syllogisms as "valid," and were overconfident in their judgments. They also displayed less sensitivity in distinguishing between valid and invalid syllogisms. Our findings dovetail with recent evidence from memory research suggesting that negative valence can evoke a liberal response bias without improving performance. Our novel contribution is the demonstration that the attenuating effect of negative valence on belief bias can take multiples routes - by influencing the decision stage as was the case here, the reasoning stage as has been demonstrated elsewhere, and potentially both stages. © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada 2012.

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