Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Psychol., 28 February 2011 | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00031

Succumbing to bottom-up biases on task choice predicts increased switch costs in the voluntary task switching paradigm

  • Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Bottom-up biases are widely thought to influence task choice in the voluntary task switching paradigm. Definitive support for this hypothesis is lacking, however, because task choice and task performance are usually confounded. We therefore revisited this hypothesis using a paradigm in which task choice and task performance are temporally separated. As predicted, participants tended to choose the task that was primed by bottom-up biases. Moreover, such choices were linked to increased switch costs during subsequent task performance. These findings provide compelling evidence that bottom-up biases influence voluntary task choice. They also suggest that succumbing to such biases reflects a reduction of top-down control that persists to influence upcoming task performance.

Keywords: bottom-up processing, task switching, decision making, top-down control

Citation: Orr JM and Weissman DH (2011) Succumbing to bottom-up biases on task choice predicts increased switch costs in the voluntary task switching paradigm. Front. Psychology. 2:31. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00031

Received: 08 December 2010; Paper pending published: 19 December 2010;
Accepted: 14 February 2011; Published online: 28 February 2011.

Edited by:

Shulan Hsieh, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan

Reviewed by:

Yoav Kessler, University of Toronto, Canada
Baptist Liefooghe, Ghent University, Belgium

Copyright: © 2011 Orr and Weissman. This is an open-access article subject to an exclusive license agreement between the authors and Frontiers Media SA, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are credited.

*Correspondence: Joseph M. Orr and Daniel H. Weissman, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, 530 Church Street, 4422 East Hall, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1043, USA. e-mail: oricon@umich.edu; danweiss@umich.edu

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