Dept.of Psychology - Master's degree

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Investigation of the generation effect on memory and metamemory through semantic and perceptual cues
    (Bilkent University, 2024-04) Yavuz, Fatih Tayyip
    The generation effect is an experimental finding that self-generated information produces higher memory performance than reading. The effect can be obtained through various semantic and perceptual generation manipulations. Despite numerous studies investigating semantic and perceptual generation tasks separately, studies have not compared the effectiveness of the two formats directly. For Experiment 1, participants read or generated words from rhyming words or highly associated words, comprising a 2 (level of processing: perceptual, semantic) x 2 (generation status: generation, read) within-subjects design. The results showed that participants had higher memory performance for generated words than for words that were read. Moreover, an interaction revealed that memory performance was higher for the semantic generation task than for the perceptual generation task. Experiment 2 aimed to investigate participants’ memory predictions for perceptual and semantic generation tasks. Moreover, we investigated whether making predictions modifies memory performance. Experiment 2 incorporated judgments-of-learning (JOL) and no-JOL groups, yielding that participants accurately predicted and performed better on memory tasks involving generation and semantic manipulations. Additionally, the cued-recall retrieval phase produced higher memory performance for the JOL-group than the no-JOL group, suggesting that predicting one's memory performance enhances actual memory performance. Experiment 3 aimed to see the importance of the test type for the metamemory reactivity. Like Experiment 2, the JOL group still had a higher memory performance than the no-JOL group. The group difference was only observable during a semantic cued-recall test, implying the test type's importance.
  • ItemOpen Access
    On thin ice: understanding parental psychological control in Turkish and Pakistani individuals: mediating role of needs satisfaction across cultures
    (Bilkent University, 2023-12) Pedersen, Özge Can
    Autonomy-thwarting practices may entail a wide range of practices from declaring an ultimatum to guilt elicitation—a nuanced distinction that merits attention. Employing a between-subject design via three vignettes, the present study examined to what extent these two aspects of control attempts differ in facilitating psychological and behavioral outcomes in Turkish (N = 454) and Pakistani (N = 149) young adults. Reactance and cultural orientations were tested as potential moderators. Parental autonomy support correlated with positive psychological outcomes, while parental control was linked to sub-optimal outcomes due to reduced needs satisfaction and perceived legitimacy. Turkish participants expressed significantly higher defiance intentions under both types of psychological control. Pakistani participants exhibited greater defiance intentions under external control compared to autonomy condition, and their independence scores moderated defiance intentions under external control. Among Turkish adults, higher independence was associated with decreased levels of compliance under both types of parental control. In line with the Self Determination Theory, these findings highlight the universally growth-promoting role of autonomy support and the mediating role of needs satisfaction. Simultaneously, they uncover subtle differences in young adults’ behavioral responses to psychological control despite the adverse effects of control, transcending cultural and individual differences.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The visual cortices of congenitally and non-congenitally blind individuals become a part of cognitive control network
    (Bilkent University, 2023-12) Duymuş, Hasan
    Neural plasticity is crucial for understanding the extent to which a biological structure determines its function. As such, the fate of visual and auditory cortices when deprived of their standard inputs has immense significance in neuroscientific research. Empirical findings suggest that the visual cortex of the congenital and early blind activates across a very wide range of tasks in auditory, tactile and olfactory modalities. We hypothesized that these regions may transform into task positive multiple demand (MD) regions. A key feature of these regions is that they activate to all kinds of tasks in all kinds of modalities. In this study, we investigate whether deprived cortices in blind exhibit key characteristic inherent to fronto-parietal MD regions. We had congenitally and non-congenitally blind participants done four fMRI cognitive control tasks in tactile and auditory modalities. The visual cortices of the blind group showed (1) intense activity during more demanding conditions of the four diverse tasks along with the fronto-parietal control regions, (2) the same set of occipital voxels in blind participants activated across diverse modalities under increased cognitive demands of the four diverse tasks. Our findings suggest that deprived visual cortices of the blind, in fact, become a part of cognitive control network.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Social, cognitive, and social cognitive influences on children’s lie-telling
    (Bilkent University, 2023-08) Dönmez, Ferhan Kübra
    Lie-telling as a verbal form of deception may involve intentionally implanting false information in the mind of others. Lie-telling and the subsequent ability to maintain them (i.e., semantic leakage control) were examined to understand their developmental trajectory and the influences behind these capacities. One hundred twenty-one parent-child dyads (aged 3-to-6-year-olds) participated. Children were tested on inhibitory control, false belief, and a lie-telling task. Parents were measured on their use of lying to their children to control behavior, explicit socialization of lie-telling, and more general parenting practices. To test children's lie-telling abilities, they were instructed not to peek at a toy in the experimenter's absence; later, they were asked: whether they peeked (initial lie-telling), the toy's identity, and how they knew the identity if they answered correctly. Children's initial lie-telling behavior did not change with age; however, older children showed significantly higher semantic leakage control. Inhibitory control was not associated with lie-telling. Additionally, false belief understanding was not related to lie-telling behavior, but children with higher levels of semantic leakage control had greater false belief understanding. However, when controlled for age, this relation became nonsignificant. Finally, none of the parenting variables predicted semantic leakage control. However, aspects of parental socialization (i.e., encouragement and modeling of lie-telling, problematic lying, and consequences for lying) predicted lie-telling behavior. These findings suggest that children might be influenced by parental socialization of lie-telling for their decision to lie; however, their ability to maintain these lies may rely more heavily on their cognitive and social cognitive capacities.
  • ItemOpen Access
    “Because she is a know-it-all”: school-aged children’s understanding of calibration for hesitant informants
    (Bilkent University, 2023-07) Sunay, Onur
    Calibration refers to the extent to which one’s confidence predicts their accuracy. Accordingly; someone accurate and confident, and someone inaccurate and hesitant are well-calibrated; and someone inaccurate and confident, and someone accurate but hesitant are poorly calibrated. Although there is evidence of adults’ calibration understanding, children do not have a complete understanding of calibration. The current study aimed to investigate children’s calibration understanding better. To that end, 7-, 9-, and 11-year-old children were tested on three calibration tasks with informants that included the inaccurate and hesitant informant. The tasks included explicit and implicit measures of calibration. The results showed that children performed similarly across all ages, but there were differences in how children performed between different tasks. Also, accuracy had more influence on children’s judgments for who was a reliable informant than confidence. Third, more children passed the implicit calibration task but failed the explicit one than vice versa. Lastly, children’s calibration understanding was not related to their executive function (EF) abilities. These results suggest that calibration is a complex ability influenced by social situations. The role situations play and how they might be used as a broader framework to explain calibration are highlighted in the discussion. EF and other cognitive abilities that might be related to calibration understanding are also discussed.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The effect of reality-distancing on children’s false belief understanding
    (Bilkent University, 2023-07) Tuğlacı, Ece
    The socio-cultural theory has emphasized the effect of the co-constitutive nature of the narrative discourse on FB understanding, whereas simulation theory asserted that imagination is a cognitive ability that scaffolds perspective-taking which underlies children’s developing abilities to understand FBs. Elements of fantasy have been indiscriminately used in correlational and intervention studies that examined the factors that affect children’s understanding of FBs. However, there are two evidence-based reasons to expect that children would benefit from fantasy elements (i.e., increased levels of engagement and reality-distancing inherent in fantastical media contexts). The current project aims to examine the effects of varying degrees of fantasy on false belief (FB) tasks. To do so, the present studies utilize FB tasks (i.e., contents FB and change of location) in which children are presented with FB tasks that include fantastical and realistic characters as protagonists within fantastical and realistic settings, respectively. Study 1 tested the effects of the degree of fantasy and the order of receiving manipulations. The increasing degree of fantasy increased preschoolers' performance on FB tasks. Study 2 explored the same effects with a more targeted sample using an additional fantasy-orientation measure. The results replicate the effect of the degree of fantasy and suggest encountering fantastical content before realistic content selectively scaffolds younger children's performance on FB tasks. This is despite their lack of orientation toward enjoying fantastical content. Thus, the discussion of the findings and future studies emphasizes the significance of reality-distancing provided by the fantastical content included in FB tasks.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Pupil dilation in time perception
    (Bilkent University, 2023-07) İnan, Cansel
    Time perception corresponds to how we perceive and understand the duration, sequence, and pacing of incidents in our surroundings and is the subjective expe- rience of the course of time. The integration of data from various sensory inputs as well as higher-order cognitive processes like attention, recall, and decision-making are all part of this intricate and multidimensional process. Pupil size is known to increase in response to all kinds of demands like attention, working memory, decision-making, difficult perception, memory recall, etc. In fact, studies show increased pupil size to any kind of task demands. A recent study suggested a dichotomy of task demands based on their distinct neural responses (Farooqui and Manly, 2018). The commonly recognized type of task demand (i.e., type I demand) pertains to issues like increased attention, working memory, the complexity of decisions, etc. For what is being done at that moment. This kind of demand increases activity in the control-related fronto- parietal regions and is well-known to increase pupil size. Farooqui and Manly suggested a different kind of demand (or type II demand) that is related to the length and complexity of the episode of cognition being organized as one unit. They argued that this demand comes about because we execute long tasks as one entity. We, e.g., write emails, shop and not individually execute their very- many component acts. Longer tasks require a longer period of cognition to be organized and controlled as one unit. They evidenced that this demand leads to a deactivation of the control-related fronto-parietal regions and suggested that this demand may psychophysiologically be the opposite of type I demands. The current study investigates this thesis. We used a time-interval replication task. Time-interval replication involves cre- ating an extended cognitive episode. Longer intervals will require creating longer episodes and hence involve higher type II cognitive demands. If type II demands indeed generate the opposite psychophysiological response compared to type I de- mands, we can expect longer time-interval replications to lead to a decreased pupil size. Participants were given various time intervals, e.g., 11 seconds, to replicate by pressing a button at the beginning and at the end of the interval. We used a set of short (8-12 seconds) intervals and a set of long (14-18 seconds) intervals. Long intervals were expectedly more demanding and led to a more erroneous performance. We tested 30 participants (22 females, ages 18-27). If, as is popularly thought, pupil size increases during any kind of demand, then it should be larger when participants replicated longer durations. In contrast, if type II demands of creating longer cognitive episodes were psychophysiologically opposite, then pupil size may be smaller during longer durations. We found this was indeed the case. We show that task demands related to organizing longer cognitive episodes may indeed be distinct from the commonly recognized task demands related to increased attention and working memory.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Emotional prosody and accent processing: a bilingual perspective
    (Bilkent University, 2023-05) Akkaya, Asena
    People use different kinds of cues to process and understand spoken language in their daily lives. Understanding language is not solely based on the process-ing of grammar and words but also the processing of paralinguistic (non-verbal aspects of spoken language) cues, which have an important role in the ultimate comprehension of spoken language. Emotional prosody is one of the crucial par-alinguistic cues and is the focus of the present thesis. It refers to verbal cues that convey different types of emotions based on changing pitch, timbre and tone of voice during speech. Different theories attempt to explain how emotional prosody and its related cues are cognitively processed during speech comprehension, such as the Universality Hypothesis, the In-group Advantage hypothesis and Dialect Theory. This thesis examined the processing of two different paralinguistic cues (emotional prosody and accent) and were discussed within the perspective of these theories. This study had 3 main research questions: (1) how do bilingual individuals differently process emotional prosody and different accents in their first (L1) and second (L2) languages? (2) How do different accents affect the emotional comprehension of L1 and L2 speakers? and (3) is the processing of vocal emotions universal or does it include culturally-specific aspects? Bilingual Turkish-English participants were tasked with listening to sentences in either their L1 (Turkish) or L2 (English) that varied in their emotional prosody (happy, sad, neutral tones of voice) and their accent (accented Turkish; accented English). Electroencephalography (EEG) recordings were taken to measure the P200 event-related potential response, which indexes automatic emotional processing and has been shown to vary between first and second languages. The results showed that Turkish-English bilingual individuals showed higher P200 amplitudes when they heard emotionally vocalized sentences in their L1 compared to sentences vocal-ized with neutral tone of voice, regardless of the accent. However, in their L2, they showed higher P200 amplitudes for neutral sentences compared to emotion-ally vocalized sentences. Overall, these results propose that the nativelikeness of the stimuli is crucial to emotional prosody processing (in line with the In-Group Advantage hypothesis), such that we process emotional information more auto-matically in our L1, regardless of the speaker.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Autonomy and robotonomy: The role of gender
    (Bilkent University, 2023-06) Aşkın, Gaye
    This study examines how gender affects people's perception of autonomy in social robots. It investigates whether an agent's name (masculine/feminine/neutral/ technical/no-name) and type (human/robot) can impact agency, personification, competency, and gender evaluations and whether these evaluations are at an unconscious level. The study consists of a pre-study and a main study with 150 participants. Participants watched 4-second 18 videos in the main study and answered autonomy-related questions. They also completed three implicit association tasks, adapted according to the study's themes, autonomy, agents, and gender. ANOVA analysis was conducted to analyze the agent, naming, and gender effects for the explicit part. The d-score was calculated for all participants in the implicit part, and an ANOVA analysis was conducted. Regression analysis was conducted to determine gender attribution in the pre-study and main studies. Correlation analyses were also conducted to determine if explicit-implicit parts were correlated. Lastly, a thematic analysis was conducted for qualitative inputs in the explicit part and categorized into nine themes. The study found the main effect of action and agent in agency-level attribution. In competency and gender attribution, agents had no main effect in none of the name conditions. In the implicit part, women and men participants differed in men-independent/women-dependent association IAT-1. The other two IATs, women and men participants, responded similarly. The study suggests that name manipulation does not affect people's autonomy perception, but rather agent types and actions characteristics affect them. Furthermore, people's implicit and explicit answers do not predict each other.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Epistemic or interpersonal? Children’s selective trust decisions in others
    (Bilkent University, 2023-03) Başaran, Busenur
    Much of children’s learning about the world, particularly early in life, depends on what others say to them. Despite the clear benefits of learning from others, people sometimes may offer inaccurate information either due to the lack of competence or the motivation to deceive. Fortunately, an amassing body of research shows that children are not completely credulous in their learning decisions. Instead, children are selective in whom they prefer to learn from (e.g., preferring accurate over inaccurate or nice over mean informants). Although there is ample evidence that children engage in selective learning strategies that enable them to distinguish reliable sources from unreliable ones, the cognitive basis for this selectivity is still a puzzle. The mechanisms behind selective trust are primarily couched in terms of accepting testimony as inductive evidence and children’s trust as a rational inference from the evidence. However, there are relevant interpersonal considerations that affect whom children prefer to learn from as well as whom they choose to play with. For example, children may sometimes attribute more knowledge to one informant but still choose to share, play, or affiliate with the other. The current study, therefore, was designed to investigate whether particular conditions (e.g., an informant who is smart but mean) affect children’s trust preferences differently depending on the task. In the familiarization trials, 5- to 7-year-olds (N = 134) were shown a pair of competent informants but in different domains (i.e., nice but inaccurate vs. mean but inaccurate informant). In the test trials, children were asked to choose between the informants for two tasks that either demanded epistemic or interpersonal considerations. The results suggest that 7-year-olds’ decisions to learn from and practical decisions to share with an informant changed as a function of an informant’s characteristics relevant to the given tasks. However, 5-year-olds’ epistemic trust was weakened by interpersonal faults (i.e., whether the agent was nice or mean). This indicates that interpersonal violations of trust may constitute a more serious type of agent failure that is prone to be generalized by children across different domains.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Detailed investigation of Turkish children’s diverse belief task performance
    (Bilkent University, 2022-12) Öztürk Mıhcı, İrem
    This study investigated Turkish children’s Diverse Belief (DB) task performance, which is one of the tasks in Theory of Mind (ToM) battery. Previous literature found that Turkish children underperformed on the DB task when compared to children from other cultures. In addition, Turkish children did not show the expected age-related increase in the DB task performance, and Turkish children’s DB performance was not related to the other ToM tasks and cognitive variables such as EF. Therefore, the aim was to examine whether the difficulty in the DB task is related to the task structure for Turkish children. The DB task performances and the EF skills of 45 Turkish-speaking children aged between 3 and 5 were assessed. The DB task was manipulated in terms of mental state verbs (e.g., think, guess, and no mental states) and the number of characters in the story (e.g., single, and double seekers). Results showed that Turkish children were not affected by the differences in mental state verbs, but the number of characters in the story affected performance. Children were more successful in the double-seeker conditions when the task was presented with the verb “think” (düşün- in Turkish). In the light of these results, it is possible to infer that the problems regarding Turkish children’s DB performance may be related to the curse of belief rather than Turkish children’s conceptual deficiency in belief understanding.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Hierarchical instantiation of attention
    (Bilkent University, 2022-10) Giray, İrem
    Extended task executions involve goal-directed programs that control the execution of component steps. While the presence of such programs is widely accepted, their nature remains unclear. Prior studies saw them as controlling the identity and sequence of individual steps much like how a recipe controls and organizes cooking. However, this can happen only in predictable tasks where the identity and sequence of steps are known beforehand. Programs, on the other hand, are also evident in unpredictable tasks where the identity and sequence of steps are not foreknown. What is the role of these programs in such tasks? It has been suggested that, contrary to existing view, these programs may not be about specifying the identity and sequence of component steps. Perhaps they are the means of instantiating all kinds of goal-related control processes during extended tasks. We tested this thesis in relation to attention. If attention during extended tasks is instantiated via these programs, then attentional focus may be poorer on the initial steps of such tasks, especially if these steps are fast-paced. This is because when a new task starts a new program is needed. If attention can only be instantiated via these programs, then the initial steps cannot be attended unless the new program is in place. However, in fast-paced tasks the initial steps may be at hand before these programs have been assembled. Consequently, these steps may suffer from a lack of attention. We show that attention-dependent inhibitory control is indeed poorer on the initial steps of extended tasks, suggesting that attention may indeed be instantiated via these programs.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The effect of repeated exposure, picture presence and context reinstatement on truth judgments
    (Bilkent University, 2022-09) Kurt, Elif Hilal
    With the spread of fake news on social media platforms, it becomes critical to unveil the factors that might influence our truth judgments. Previous research showed that repeated exposure and picture presence can bias individuals to believe that the information is true. However, when frequent social media postings are taken into consideration, there are three issues that need to be specified further in order to understand the underlying mechanisms of our truth judgments. The first is to investigate whether repeated exposure of pictures increases truth ratings or not. Second, it is important to uncover the joint effects of repetition and picture presence on truth judgments as it can be frequently seen in social media postings. Third, little is known about how a detail change (e.g., accompanying picture) in repeated information is reflected on truth judgments. In a series of three experiments, we aimed to find an answer for the abovementioned questions. In Experiment 1, we tested whether prior exposure to pictures would increase truth ratings for the associated statements. The repetition of pictures did not increase truth ratings but their mere presence did. In Experiment 2, we explored the simultaneous effect of repetition and picture presence on truth judgments. Contrary to Experiment 1, repetition of statements increased truth ratings but the presence of pictures did not produce a significant change. Finally, Experiment 3 aimed to understand whether a context change (e.g., picture details) in the repeated information would affect truth ratings or not. As a manipulation, either a detail was changed in the accompanying picture (changed context) or it was repeatedly exposed with the same picture (reinstated context). The results showed that statements with reinstating context were given higher truth ratings than statements with changed context. The results and the future research are discussed in the context of the truthiness effect, the illusory truth effect and the context reinstatement.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Effect of Covid-19 infection on the developing brain: psychosis proneness and working memory activation
    (Bilkent University, 2022-08) Sozan, Sara Sinem
    Researchers have been investigating the effects of Covid-19 infection since late 2019. Symptoms caused by the SARS-Cov-2 virus varied from respiratory system failure to fatigue, brain fog and headaches. Studies showed that the infection leads to cognitive impairment and psychotic-like symptoms even after recovery. Literature has focused on hospitalized adult patients, and there is less information on how the developing brain exposed to the virus is affected. To address these gaps in the literature we investigated whether Covid-19 can be a risk factor for psychosis in adolescents and young adults. Forty individuals who were infected with Covid-19 and recovered at least two and at most four months before and 36 demographically matched controls were recruited in the study. Positive PCR test results confirmed the infection status of the participants. Subclinical psychosis was assessed using the Community Assessment of Psychic Experience (CAPE-42) questionnaire and the Structured Interview of Schizotypy - Revised (SIS-R) was used to assess psychotic-like symptoms. A functional magnetic resonance imaging was conducted during a well-known working memory task to investigate activation patterns. The working memory task involved seven tasks and a control motor task. Verbal fluency performance was assessed in both phonetic and semantic categories. In order to control for the confounding effects of additional environmental risk factors for psychosis, paternal age, years of urban upbringing, cannabis exposure, and ethnicity were also considered. The findings revealed that although the two groups did not differ across different dimensions of the CAPE-42, the infected group had higher restricted affect and referential thoughts of being watched. Individuals infected with SARS-Cov-2 performed worse in both categories of the verbal fluency task. fMRI analysis revealed that individuals infected with the SARS-Cov-2 virus showed activation differences in the prefrontal cortex, medial temporal gyrus, middle frontal gyrus, and inferior parietal gyrus. Higher performance in the verbal fluency task predicted greater activation during the working memory task. These results suggest that exposure to the Covid-19 infection during brain development can be an environmental risk factor for psychosis.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Go green but why? The dynamic interplay between motivational reasons and pro-environmental behaviors displayed in private and public spheres
    (Bilkent University, 2022-08) Candar, İlke
    Grounded in Self-determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000), this thesis investigated through two studies the reasons for which individuals engage in pro-environmental behaviors. Study 1 with N = 375 Turkish young adults (Mage = 22.35; SD = 2.38), showed that after controlling for connectedness to nature and perceived environmental threat, autonomous reasons but not controlling reasons had unique associations with both private- and public-sphere behaviors and intentions. Building on Study 1, Study 2 employed a more dynamic approach to examine the week-to-week relations of autonomous and controlling reasons to pro-environmental behaviors. With the aid of a sample of young adults (total N = 160; Mage = 23.55; SD = 7.17) who completed two sets of online surveys, a pre-diary part and a series of short questionnaires for six consecutive weeks, it was found, again, that weekly variation in autonomous reasons (but not in controlling reasons) related positively to weekly fluctuation in private- and public-sphere pro-environmental behaviors. Further, perceived environmental threat predicted between-person differences in such behaviors exhibited in both realms. The findings and their implications were discussed within the framework of Self-determination Theory.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Detailed investigation of the relation between mothers’ mental state language and children's theory of mind abilities
    (Bilkent University, 2022-07) Evsen, Setenay
    This study investigated the relation between maternal mental state language (MSL) in a storytelling context and preschoolers’ Theory of Mind (ToM) abilities. Seventy-four Turkish-speaking mothers’ mental state discourse was examined with a comprehensive coding of mental content (i.e., perception, physiological, desire, motivation, emotion, and cognition) at both lexical and morphological levels by marking the referents of each mental use (i.e., child-mother vs. story character). In addition, to distinguish the uses of perception terms as attention getters or genuine mental state references, a coding for perception words in terms of function was included. The results revealed that only certain functions of mothers’ perception MSL was related to children’s ToM performance. In particular, mothers’ use of perception MSL to give the literal meaning of the terms predicted children’s ToM performance concurrently when children’s cognitive abilities and age was controlled for. Results were discussed from a socio-cultural perspective to emphasize the importance of coding the pragmatic aspects of maternal MSL for a better understanding of ToM development in relation to language.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Turkish mothers’ use of complement clauses in storytelling in relation to children’s comprehension of complement clauses and theory of mind abilities
    (Bilkent University, 2022-04) Bodur, Esin
    This study investigates mothers’ use of complement clauses in relation to children’s comprehension of complement clauses and theory of mind among 3-to 5-year-old Turkish speaking children. 114 children were given comprehension of complement clauses task, expressive and receptive language tasks, and three ToM tasks. Wordless storybook was used to collect maternal language data during storytelling. Three forms of complement clause structures (nonfinite, finite, and bare finite) were analyzed. Three complement clause structures were analyzed in two main categories. The categories were classified according to their inclusion of mental state verbs (i.e., physiological, desire, motivation, emotion, and cognitive) and nonmental state verbs. Three mental state combinations (MSCs) were also classified according to their use of mental state verb as main verb or complement verb in three complement clause structures. In first MSC, the complement verb is mental state verb. In second MSC, main verb and complement verb are mental state verbs. In third MSC, main verb is mental state verb. The results showed that the frequency of complement clause structures was not significantly related to children’s comprehension of complement clauses. Mothers’ use of third MSC in nonfinite complement clauses was significantly related to children’s comprehension of double complement clauses and their receptive language. The frequency of complement clauses that include mental state verbs was not significantly related to ToM. Children’s comprehension of double complement clauses was significantly related to ToM whereas the correlation was not significant after controlling for children’s expressive and receptive language.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Turkish as a grammaticalized language: the effect of factivity alternation and certainty on theory of mind understanding
    (Bilkent University, 2021-07) Balcı, Amine Serra
    The majority of studies investigating the relation between language and socio-cognitive understanding have been designed for and carried out with participants from Western cultures (Milligan et al., 2007). Recently, there is emerging interest in studying the relation between cultural-linguistic nuances and social understanding (Choi, 2006; Matsui, Yamamoto & McCagg, 2006). Many linguistic features found in languages such as Japanese, Korean, or Turkish are integral to the syntactic complexity of these languages and express epistemic stances towards reality or others’ propositions. The current thesis included two studies investigating adult native Turkish speakers’ sensitivity to the certainty of propositions based on grammatical structure and whether their sensitivity is related to their theory of mind abilities. The results showed that Turkish speakers are sensitive to (a) factivity alternation, meaning they display different levels of epistemic certainty based on the grammatical framing of the verb to know (Studies 1 & 2) (b) morphological certainty markers (Study 2). However, participants’ sensitivity to epistemic certainty was unrelated to ToM abilities as assessed by the Faux Pas task (Study 1 & 2), and epistemic bias as assessed by the Contamination Task (Study 1). The results are discussed with their implications, especially for future work with younger samples.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Self/other differentiation based on present VS past tense cues in Turkish culture
    (Bilkent University, 2021-07) Çelik, Salih Bartuğ
    The literature provides various studies that showed human beings’ implicit awareness of their own and others’ mental states (i.e., implicit Theory of Mind, ToM abilities). However, how much these implicit processes are qualitatively different from the explicit ToM abilities is an open question to investigate. To explore this issue, Bradford et al. (2015; 2018) conducted a study that showed it was easier for adults to adopt “self” perspectives than “other” perspectives. Importantly, participants found shifting from other- to self-oriented perspectives easier than shifting from self- to other. Bradford et al. concluded that self-oriented mental states might be automatically processed when thinking about others but that other-oriented mental state attribution requires consciously controlled processes. In the current study, we explored whether the task demands from Bradford et al.’s study affect participants’ performances across shifting conditions. Self-oriented perspectives might be always processed faster than other-oriented perspectives because they might include more concrete cues (e.g., past and personal experiences). To provide more concrete cues for the other-oriented perspective questions, participants were presented with Bradford et al.’s paradigm using the Turkish past-tense with the direct evidential marker, -DI. This manipulation allowed investigating whether other-oriented perspectives could be processed as fast as self-oriented perspectives. In order to also investigate the impact of cultural factors on the participants’ performances, an Individuals-Collectivism survey was included. The results of the study showed similar findings with Bradford et al. (2015; 2018) in that participants more easily shifted from other- to self-oriented perspectives compared to self- to other-oriented perspectives. The results were discussed based on the current approaches (i.e., lean, middle-ground, and rich accounts) to social cognition.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Effect of prior knowledge on the illusory truth effect and memory and metacognitive processes underlying this illusion
    (Bilkent University, 2021-07) Gizem, Filiz
    Repeated information typically produces higher truth ratings than novel information. This is called the illusory truth effect. Since this illusion can be obtained with various research materials, the repetition of the information is considered as the driving force of the illusion rather than the content, but whether the effect depends on familiarity or recollection is controversial. The present study aimed to investigate how the novelty of the content may also contribute to this effect through familiarity versus recollection. In a series of three experiments, participants were presented with categorical information about novel pseudowords in an initial phase. Then, they were presented with either congruent or incongruent details about the category of the items. It was hypothesized that if familiarity drives the effect, just the mere repetition should increase truth ratings for all old items. Experiment 1 showed that the mere repetition of some cues from previously studied category statements did not produce the illusory truth effect. In Experiment 2, an additional phase of retrieval practice to teach the categorical information about the pseudowords produced a robust illusory truth effect. The results of Experiment 2 showed that when participants learned new information effectively, they made truth assessments by considering the congruence of the semantic details they remembered with existing statements. Experiment 3 aimed to understand how the time interval affects familiarity and recollection processes within the framework of the current research. Contrary to the results of previous studies, Experiment 3 did not find a pattern in which recollection turned into familiarity over time, but the illusory truth effect persisted over time. The results and future work are discussed in the context of referential theory and the illusory truth effect literature.