Matching Items (4)

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Sensory motor mechanisms unify psychology: the embodiment of culture

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Sensorimotor mechanisms can unify explanations at cognitive, social, and cultural levels. As an example, we review how anticipated motor effort is used by individuals and groups to judge distance: the

Sensorimotor mechanisms can unify explanations at cognitive, social, and cultural levels. As an example, we review how anticipated motor effort is used by individuals and groups to judge distance: the greater the anticipated effort the greater the perceived distance. Anticipated motor effort can also be used to understand cultural differences. People with interdependent self- construals interact almost exclusively with in-group members, and hence there is little opportunity to tune their sensorimotor systems for interaction with out-group members. The result is that interactions with out-group members are expected to be difficult and out-group members are perceived as literally more distant. In two experiments we show (a) interdependent Americans, compared to independent Americans, see American confederates (in-group) as closer; (b) interdependent Arabs, compared to independent Arabs, perceive Arab confederates (in- group) as closer, whereas interdependent Americans perceive Arab confederates (out-group) as farther. These results demonstrate how the same embodied mechanism can seamlessly contribute to explanations at the cognitive, social, and cultural levels.

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  • 2013-11-29

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How intent to interact can affect action scaling of distance: reply to Wilson

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Soliman et al. (2013) set out to demonstrate how the bodily level of analysis can unify explanations in psychology. Our argument was that common sensorimotor mechanisms underlie many of the

Soliman et al. (2013) set out to demonstrate how the bodily level of analysis can unify explanations in psychology. Our argument was that common sensorimotor mechanisms underlie many of the behavioral phenomena that are currently segregated as cognitive, social, or cultural. Toward that end, we re-characterized a cultural construct—self-construal along the dimension of independence and interdependence (Markus and Kitayama, 1991)—as reflecting degree of interaction with ethnically diverse others.

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  • 2014-06-04

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Joint action enhances motor learning

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ABSTRACT

Learning a novel motor pattern through imitation of the skilled performance of an expert has been shown to result in better learning outcomes relative to observational or physical practice.

ABSTRACT

Learning a novel motor pattern through imitation of the skilled performance of an expert has been shown to result in better learning outcomes relative to observational or physical practice. The aim of the present project was to examine if the advantages of imitational practice could be further augmented through a supplementary technique derived from my previous research. This research has provided converging behavioral evidence that dyads engaged in joint action in a familiar task requiring spatial and temporal synchrony end up developing an extended overlap in their body representations, termed a joint body schema (JBS). The present research examined if inducing a JBS between a trainer and a novice trainee, prior to having the dyad engage in imitation practice on a novel motor pattern would enhance both of the training process and its outcomes.

Participants either worked with their trainer on a familiar joint task to develop the JBS (Joint condition) or performed a solo equivalent of the task while being watched by their trainer (Solo condition). Participants In both groups then engaged in blocks of alternating imitation practice and free production of a novel manual motor pattern, while their motor output was recorded. Analyses indicated that the Joint participants outperformed the Solo participants in the ability to synchronize the spatial and temporal components of their imitation movements with the trainer’s pattern-modeling movements. The same group showed superior performance when attempting to freely produce the pattern. These results carry significant theoretical and translational potentials for the fields of motor learning and rehabilitation.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Sensory-motor mechanisms unify psychology: motor effort and perceived distance to cultural out-groups

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ABSTRACT This thesis proposes that a focus on the bodily level of analysis can unify explanation of behavior in cognitive, social, and cultural psychology. To examine this unifying proposal, a

ABSTRACT This thesis proposes that a focus on the bodily level of analysis can unify explanation of behavior in cognitive, social, and cultural psychology. To examine this unifying proposal, a sensorimotor mechanism with reliable explanatory power in cognitive and social psychology was used to predict a novel pattern of behavior in cultural context, and these predictions were examined in three experiments. Specifically, the finding that people judge objects that require more motor effort to interact with as farther in visual space was adapted to predict that people with interdependent self-construal(SC) , relative to those with independent SC, would visually perceive their cultural outgroups as farther relative to their cultural in-groups. Justifying this cultural extension of what is primarily a cognitive mechanism is the assumption that, unlike independents, Interdependents interact almost exclusively with in-group members, and hence there sensorimotor system is less tuned to cross-cultural interactions. Thus, interdependents, more so than independents, expect looming cross-cultural interactions to be effortful, which may inflate their judgment of distance to the out-groups. Two experiments confirmed these predictions: a) interdependent Americans, compared to independent Americans, perceived American confederates (in-group) as visually closer; b) interdependent Arabs, compared to independent Arabs, perceived Arab confederates (in-group) as closer; and c) interdependent Americans, relative to independent Americans, perceived Arab confederates (out-group) as farther. A third study directly established the proposed relation between motor effort and distance to human targets: American men perceived other American men as closer after an easy interaction than after a more difficult interaction. Together, these results demonstrate that one and the same sensorimotor mechanism can explain/predict homologous behavioral patterns across the subdisciplines of psychology.

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Date Created
  • 2013