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Task-constraints (but not semantic association) facilitate perspective use during discourse interpretation.

Ferguson, Heather J., Ahmad, Jumana, Ulrich, Philip, Bindemann, Markus, Apperly, Ian (2012) Task-constraints (but not semantic association) facilitate perspective use during discourse interpretation. In: 25th Annual City University of New York Conference on Human Sentence Processing, 14th - 16th March 2012, New York, NY. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:51290)

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Abstract

Interpreting descriptions about other peoples’ actions relies on an understanding of their current mental state. Psycholinguistic research on this topic has focused on the comprehension of referentially ambiguous expressions (e.g. “the cup”), and has revealed a different time-course of anticipation across tasks that either require participants to engage in an interactive question-answer discourse[4], follow a speaker’s instructions[1,2,3],or attend to a passive narrative scenario[5,6]. Indeed, it has been suggested that understanding privileged information is subject to an egocentric bias, perhaps caused by low-level associations between spoken descriptions and visually available referents [7].

Eye-tracking analyses on word-onset-locked time-windows revealed significantly different patterns of anticipation in true vs. false belief conditions throughout the auditory input (Fs>35.7, ps<.001). This reflected a general bias to predict the reality box when Jane witnessed the second transfer event (ts>6.2), and a bias to the belief box (from [objects] onwards) when Jane was ignorant to the second transfer event (ts>2.2). Prior to [objects] participants also showed a predictability bias (Fs>3.75, ps<.05), reflecting a stronger bias to the belief box when low-level cues predicted this container. Moreover, task emerged as a main effect during “[object] in the container” (Fs>3.91, ps<.05) and interacted with belief throughout (Fs>4.39, ps<.04). These effects reflect a weaker bias to the belief box in the passive task compared to the active task. While active participants correctly anticipated reference to the belief box from “look” onwards (ts>2.4), passive observers did not significantly predict the belief box until location information became auditorily available (ts prior to location <1.3).Both groups showed appropriate reality biases on TB trials (ts>2.3).

[2] Keysar et al. (2000).Taking perspective in conversation: The role of mutual knowledge in comprehension. Psychological Science, 11, 32-37.

[4] Brown-Schmidt et al.(2008). Addressees distinguish shared from private information when interpreting questions during interactive conversation. Cognition, 107, 1122-1134.

[6] Ferguson et al., 2010).Expectations in counterfactual and theory of mind reasoning. Language and Cognitive Processes, 25, 297-346.

[7] Barr, D.J. (2008). Pragmatic expectations and linguistic evidence: Listeners anticipate but do not integrate common ground. Cognition, 109, 18-40.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Poster)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Depositing User: P.I.N. Ulrich
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2015 14:56 UTC
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 03:13 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/51290 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Ferguson, Heather J.: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1575-4820
Ulrich, Philip: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1406-3323
Bindemann, Markus: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9608-4186
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