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Journal Article

How two share two tasks: Evidence of a social psychological refractory period effect

MPS-Authors
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Liepelt,  Roman
Department Psychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Junior Group “Neurocognition of Joint Action”, Department of Psychology, Münster University, Germany;

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Prinz,  Wolfgang
Department Psychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Liepelt and Prinz_2011.pdf
(Publisher version), 348KB

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Citation

Liepelt, R., & Prinz, W. (2011). How two share two tasks: Evidence of a social psychological refractory period effect. Experimental Brain Research, 211(3-4), 387-396. doi:10.1007/s00221-011-2703-2.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-F3C4-5
Abstract
A strong assumption shared by major theoretical approaches to cognition posits that the human cognitive system has a limited capacity for information processing. Evidence supporting this claim comes from the dual-task paradigm in which one cognitive system has to process two tasks simultaneously. In this study, we examined whether bottleneck-like processing can also be elicited when a dual task is shared between two individuals. Under dual-task instructions giving priority to Task 1, we found evidence of a psychological refractory period effect in dual-task and joint-task conditions. Under equal priority instructions, we replicated the finding of a psychological refractory period effect in the dual-task, but not in the joint-task condition. These findings are in line with the assumption that a social psychological refractory period effect can be induced across two individuals. We suggest that this effect is due to task-specific monitoring requirements. We discuss our findings with respect to both dual-task and joint action theories.