Still seeking for an explanation of the Sequential Compatibility Effect

  • Jesús Privado Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
  • Juan Botella Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Manuel Suero Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Mª Ángeles Quiroga Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • Roberto Colom
Keywords: Attentional control, Cognitive conflict, Compatibility Effect, Sequential Compatibility Effect


Themodulation of the Compatibility Effect(CE) according to the compatibility of the previous trial (Sequential Compatibility Effect, SCE) in three types of attentionaltasks is explored. Flankers tasks involve higher cognitive complexity than theSimon task. In all three tasks it is analyzed whether the SCE varies when thestimuli in consecutive trials are exactly the same (pure replicas) or not. Thedata, collected from three independent samples (total N = 1,159), show the CE inthe three tasks. However, SCE only shows up in the low complexity task (Simontask). The effect is smaller albeit still significant when the pure replicatrials are removed, a result inconsistent with those of Mayr et al. (2003) andHommel (1998) but consistent with the ConflictTheory (Botvinick et al., 2001). Furthermore, the absence of SCE in morecomplex cognitive tasks is inconsistent with the perspective of Botvinick etal. (2004) since greater complexity should be reflected in a greater presenceof cognitive conflict, and therefore a higher SCE.


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Author Biography

Jesús Privado, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
Facultad dePsicología. Departamento de Metodología de las Ciencias del Comportamiento,Campus de Somosaguas, 28223 – Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid, Spain.


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How to Cite
Privado, J., Botella, J., Suero, M., Quiroga, M. Ángeles, & Colom, R. (2015). Still seeking for an explanation of the Sequential Compatibility Effect. Anales De Psicología / Annals of Psychology, 31(2), 687-696.
Cognitive Psychology