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How Social Are Task Representations?

Bernhard Hommel, Lorenza S. Colzato and Wery P. M. van den Wildenberg
Psychological Science
Vol. 20, No. 7 (July 2009), pp. 794-798
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40575101
Page Count: 5
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How Social Are Task Representations?
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Abstract

The classical Simon effect shows that actions are carried out faster if they spatially correspond to the stimulus signaling them. Recent studies revealed that this is the case even when the two actions are carried out by different people; this finding has been taken to imply that task representations are socially shared. In work described here, we found that the "interactive" Simon effect occurs only if actor and coactor are involved in a positive relationship (induced by a friendly-acting, cooperative confederate), but not if they are involved in a negative relationship (induced by an intimidating, competitive confederate). This result suggests that agents can represent self-generated and other-generated actions separately, but tend to relate or integrate these representations if the personal relationship between self and other has a positive valence.

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