British Journal of Psychology

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 0007-1269 / 2044-8295
Published by: Wiley (10.1111)
Total articles ≅ 3,511
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Latest articles in this journal

, Diana Cheso, Nicholas O. Rule
British Journal of Psychology; doi:10.1111/bjop.12523

Although people can categorize others’ sexual orientation (e.g., gay/lesbian vs. straight) from their facial appearance, not everyone defines their sexual orientation categorically. Indeed, many individuals within the same sexual orientation category experience different degrees of own- and other-gender attraction. Moving beyond sexual orientation categories, we found that perceivers’ judgments of individuals’ sexual attraction correlated with those individuals’ self-reported degrees of attraction to women and men. Similar to past work on sexual orientation categories, facial affect cued sexual attraction in men whereas gender typicality cued sexual attraction in women. Moreover, asking participants to categorize the targets as ‘not straight’ versus ‘straight’ revealed a linear pattern distinct from the discrete category thresholds typical of other social groups (e.g., race). Facial appearance thus reveals nuances in sexual attraction that support sexual orientation categorizations. These findings refine understanding of social categorization more broadly.
Haiyang Jin, Matt Oxner, Paul M. Corballis,
British Journal of Psychology; doi:10.1111/bjop.12521

Holistic face processing has been widely implicated in conscious face perception. Yet, little is known about whether holistic face processing occurs when faces are processed unconsciously. The present study used the composite face task and continuous flash suppression (CFS) to inspect whether the processing of target facial information (the top half of a face) is influenced by irrelevant information (the bottom half) that is presented unconsciously. Results of multiple experiments showed that the composite effect was observed in both monocular and CFS conditions, providing the first evidence that the processing of top facial halves is influenced by the aligned bottom halves no matter whether they are presented consciously or unconsciously. However, much of the composite effect for faces without masking was disrupted when bottom facial parts were rendered with CFS. These results suggest that holistic face processing can occur unconsciously, but also highlight the significance of holistic processing of consciously presented faces.
, Naomi Hughes‐White, Sarah Laurence
British Journal of Psychology; doi:10.1111/bjop.12517

Humans are experts at familiar face recognition, but poor at unfamiliar face recognition. Familiarity is created when a face is encountered across varied conditions, but the way in which a person’s appearance varies is identity-specific, so familiarity with one identity does not benefit recognition of other individuals. However, the faces of biological siblings share structural similarities, so we explored whether the benefits of familiarity are shared across siblings. Results show that familiarity with one half of a sibling pair improves kin detection (experiment 1), and that unfamiliar face matching is more accurate when targets are the siblings of familiar versus unfamiliar individuals (experiment 2). PCA applied to facial images of celebrities and their siblings demonstrates that faces are generally better reconstructed in the principal components of a same-sex sibling than those of an unrelated individual. When we encounter the unfamiliar sibling of someone we already know, our pre-existing representation of their familiar relation may usefully inform processing of the unfamiliar face. This can benefit both kin detection and identity processing, but the benefits are constrained by the degree to which facial variability is shared.
British Journal of Psychology, Volume 112; doi:10.1111/bjop.12460

Xue Dong, Mingxia Zhang, Bo Dong, Yi Jiang,
British Journal of Psychology; doi:10.1111/bjop.12518

Reward has a significant impact on behaviour and perception. Most past work in associative reward learning has used perceptually distinct visual cues to associate with different reward values. Thus, it remains unknown to what extent the learned bias towards reward-associated stimuli depends on consciousness of the apparent differences between stimuli. Here, we resolved this issue by using an inter-ocular suppression paradigm with the monetary rewarding and non-rewarding cues identical to each other except for their eye-of-origin information. Thus, the reward coding system cannot rely on consciousness to select the reward-associated cue. Surprisingly, the targets in the rewarded eye broke into awareness faster than those in the non-rewarded eye. We further revealed that producing this effect required both top-down attention and inter-ocular suppression. These findings suggest that the human’s reward coding system can produce two different types of reward-based learning. One is independent of consciousness yet fairly consuming attentional resources. The other one results from volitional selection of stimuli of behavioural significance.
, , Michael J. Banissy
British Journal of Psychology; doi:10.1111/bjop.12516

Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) describes an atypical multisensory experience of calming, tingling sensations that originate in the crown of the head in response to a specific subset of audio-visual triggers. There is currently no tool that can accurately classify both ASMR-Responders and non-responders, while simultaneously identifying False-Positive cases that are similar sensory-emotional experiences. This study sought to fill this gap by developing a new online psychometric tool – the ASMR-Experiences Questionnaire (AEQ). Participants watched a series of short ASMR videos and answered sensory-affective questions immediately afterwards. Using a k-means clustering approach, we identified five data-driven groupings, based on tingle- and affect-related scores. ASMR-Responders differentiate based on ASMR propensity and intensity (ASMR-Strong; ASMR-Weak); non-responders differentiate based on response valence (Control+; Control−; False-Positive). Recommendations for how the AEQ and the respective output groups can be best utilized to enhance ASMR research are discussed.
, Veronika Kosourikhina, Kevin R. Brooks, Vince Polito, Ian D. Stephen
British Journal of Psychology; doi:10.1111/bjop.12514

Estimating the size of bodies is crucial for interactions with physical and social environments. Body-size perception is malleable and can be altered using visual adaptation paradigms. However, it is unclear whether such visual adaptation effects also transfer to other modalities and influence, for example, the perception of tactile distances. In this study, we employed a visual adaptation paradigm. Participants were exposed to images of expanded or contracted versions of self- or other-identity bodies. Before and after this adaptation, they were asked to manipulate the width of body stimuli to appear as ‘normal’ as possible. We replicated an effect of visual adaptation such that the body-size selected as most ‘normal’ was larger after exposure to expanded and thinner after exposure to contracted adaptation stimuli. In contrast, we did not find evidence that this adaptation effect transfers to distance estimates for paired tactile stimuli delivered to the abdomen. A Bayesian analysis showed that our data provide moderate evidence that there is no effect of visual body-size adaptation on the estimation of spatial parameters in a tactile task. This suggests that visual body-size adaptation effects do not transfer to somatosensory body-size representations.
British Journal of Psychology; doi:10.1111/bjop.12515

Based on the Social Simulation Theory of dreaming (SST), we studied the effects of voluntary social seclusion on dream content and sleep structure. Specifically, we studied the Compensation Hypothesis, which predicts social dream contents to increase during social seclusion, the Sociality Bias – a ratio between dream and wake interactions – and the Strengthening Hypothesis, which predicts an increase in familiar dream characters during seclusion. Additionally, we assessed changes in the proportion of REM sleep. Sleep data and dream reports from 18 participants were collected preceding (n = 94), during (n = 90) and after (n = 119) a seclusion retreat. Data were analysed using linear mixed-effects models. We failed to support the Compensation Hypothesis, with dreams evidencing fewer social interactions during seclusion. The Strengthening Hypothesis was supported, with more familiar characters present in seclusion dreams. Dream social interactions maintained the Sociality Bias even under seclusion. Additionally, REM sleep increased during seclusion, coinciding with previous literature and tentatively supporting the proposed attachment function for social REM sleep.
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