Asymmetric Switch Costs as a Function of Task Strength

Markus Spitzer, Sebastian Musslick, Michael Shvartsman, Amitai Shenhav, Jonathan D. Cohen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Several studies reported that it is harder to switch from a difficult task to an easy task than vice versa. Previous studies explain this paradoxical effect in terms of differences in task strength, by letting participants switch between different types of tasks. However, these studies failed to isolate the effects of task strength from task identity. Here, we present a series of experiments in which we systematically varied the strength of two tasks independent of their identity. We adapted a computational model of task switching by Yeung and Monsell (2003) to derive predictions about the magnitude of asymmetric switch costs (ASC) as a function of task strength, and compared predictions from the model to behavioral data. Our results reveal that ASC depend on the overall and relative task strength across the two tasks. ASC can therefore flip directions if the strength of two tasks is reversed, irrespective of their identities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
Subtitle of host publicationCreativity + Cognition + Computation, CogSci 2019
PublisherThe Cognitive Science Society
Pages1070-1076
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)0991196775, 9780991196777
StatePublished - 2019
Event41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Creativity + Cognition + Computation, CogSci 2019 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Jul 24 2019Jul 27 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Creativity + Cognition + Computation, CogSci 2019

Conference

Conference41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Creativity + Cognition + Computation, CogSci 2019
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityMontreal
Period7/24/197/27/19

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Keywords

  • paradoxical switch cost
  • task switching
  • task-set inertia

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