Sunday, June 23, 2019

How the voice persuades

Van Zant, A. B., & Berger, J. (2019). How the voice persuades. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,

Abstract: Research has examined persuasive language, but relatively little is known about how persuasive people are when they attempt to persuade through paralanguage, or acoustic properties of speech (e.g., pitch and volume). People often detect and react against what communicators say, but might they be persuaded by speakers’ attempts to modulate how they say it? Four experiments support this possibility, demonstrating that communicators engaging in paralinguistic persuasion attempts (i.e., modulating their voice to persuade) naturally use paralinguistic cues that influence perceivers’ attitudes and choice. Rather than being effective because they go undetected, however, the results suggest a subtler possibility. Even when they are detected, paralinguistic attempts succeed because they make communicators seem more confident without undermining their perceived sincerity. Consequently, speakers’ confident vocal demeanor persuades others by serving as a signal that they more strongly endorse the stance they take in their message. Further, we find that paralinguistic approaches to persuasion can be uniquely effective even when linguistic ones are not. A cross-study exploratory analysis and replication experiment reveal that communicators tend to speak louder and vary their volume during paralinguistic persuasion attempts, both of which signal confidence and, in turn, facilitate persuasion.

Perceptions of a romantic partner’s approach and avoidance motives: Accuracy, bias, and emotional cues

LaBuda, J. E., Gere, J., & Impett, E. A. (2019). Perceptions of a romantic partner’s approach and avoidance motives: Accuracy, bias, and emotional cues. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,

Abstract: We examined tracking accuracy and bias (mean-level and projection) in people’s perceptions of their romantic partner’s relationship approach and avoidance motives, similarity in partners’ motives, and positive and negative emotions as potential cues used to make judgments about a partner’s daily motives and motives during shared activities. Using data from 2 studies, 1 using daily diaries (N = 2,158 daily reports), the other using reports of shared activities (N = 1,228 activity reports), we found evidence of tracking accuracy and projection across samples; we also found evidence of mean-level bias such that people underperceived their partner’s approach (daily) and avoidance motives (daily and in shared activities). Partners had similar daily approach and avoidance motives but were not similar in their motives during shared activities. Further, our studies indicated that emotions often serve as relevant, available, and detectable cues for judging a partner’s motives. The results demonstrate that accuracy and bias are both present in judgments of a romantic partner’s approach and avoidance motives, and that people often, but not always, use their partner’s emotions to make such judgments.

Social metacognition in moral judgment: Decisional conflict promotes perspective taking

Mata, A. (2019). Social metacognition in moral judgment: Decisional conflict promotes perspective taking. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,

Abstract: A series of studies explored people’s metacognition about moral judgments. These studies begin by demonstrating a metacognitive asymmetry: When faced with a dilemma, consequentialist responders tend to feel more conflict than deontological responders, such that they feel more compelled to give the alternative response. As a consequence, they are aware that other people might make different judgments from them. Deontological responders, on the other hand, are less likely to consider giving the alternative response, and are therefore more likely to project their moral judgments onto others. Results from experimental manipulations, mediational analyses, and process dissociation suggest that these differences in social inference originate in the conflict that people feel when trying to form moral judgments.

Human inability to adequately discount redundant information: Perceivers’ impressions are systematically biased by the unfolding of a performance sequence when observations are cumulative

Alves, H., & Mata, A. (2019). The redundancy in cumulative information and how it biases impressions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,

Abstract: The present work identifies a so-far overlooked bias in sequential impression formation. When the latent qualities of competitors are inferred from a cumulative sequence of observations (e.g., the sum of points collected by sports teams), impressions should be based solely on the most recent observation because all previous observations are redundant. Based on the well-documented human inability to adequately discount redundant information, we predicted the existence of a cumulative redundancy bias. Accordingly, perceivers’ impressions are systematically biased by the unfolding of a performance sequence when observations are cumulative. This bias favors leading competitors and persists even when the end result of the performance sequence is known. We demonstrated this cumulative redundancy bias in 8 experiments in which participants had to sequentially form impressions about the qualities of two competitors from different performance domains (i.e., computer algorithms, stocks, and soccer teams). We consistently found that perceivers’ impressions were biased by cumulative redundancy. Specifically, impressions about the winner and the loser of a sequence were more divergent when the winner took an early lead compared with a late lead. When the sequence ended in a draw, participants formed more favorable impressions about the competitor who was ahead during most observations. We tested and ruled out several alternative explanations related to primacy effects, counterfactual thinking, and heuristic beliefs. We discuss the wide-ranging implications of our findings for impression formation and performance evaluation.

Ants learn fast and do not forget: Resistance to extinction may be advantageous when the environment is stochastic and individuals need to switch often from one learned task to another

Ants learn fast and do not forget: associative olfactory learning, memory and extinction in Formica fusca. Baptiste Piqueret, Jean-Christophe Sandoz and Patrizia d'Ettorre. Royal Society Open Science. June 19 2019.

Abstract: Learning is a widespread phenomenon that allows behavioural flexibility when individuals face new situations. However, learned information may lose its value over time. If such a memory endures, it can be deleterious to individuals. The process of extinction allows memory updating when the initial information is not relevant anymore. Extinction is widespread among animals, including humans. We investigated associative appetitive learning in an ant species that is widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere, Formica fusca. We studied acquisition and memory between 1 h and one week after conditioning, as well as the extinction process. Ants learn very rapidly, their memory lasts up to 3 days, decreases slowly over time and is highly resistant to extinction, even after a single conditioning trial. Using a pharmacological approach, we show that this single-trial memory critically depends on protein synthesis (long-term memory). These results indicate that individual ant workers of F. fusca show remarkable learning and memory performances. Intriguingly, they also show a strong resistance to updating learned associations. Resistance to extinction may be advantageous when the environment is stochastic and individuals need to switch often from one learned task to another.

1. Background

Behavioural flexibility offers significant fitness advantages, especially in environments where resource distribution or threats are characterized by stochasticity. One way to achieve this flexibility is via learning, defined as a change in behaviour occurring as a result of experience. Many learned behaviours can be further modified to suit changing environmental conditions. The ability to learn and memorize allows animals to respond to environmental stimuli in an adaptive way, for instance, by either ignoring them or by giving them a specific value, positive or negative. This helps in predicting the environment when facing new but similar situations [1].

Storing information is costly; therefore, only essential pieces of information should remain available for the individual. For instance, with time, a stimulus which used to predict a certain resource in the environment (e.g. the presence of food) might lose its significance and be no longer associated with the resource. It is beneficial to learn rapidly that such a stimulus is not reliable anymore. Extinction is the process in which a conditioned response gradually decreases through repeated experience with the stimulus in the absence of its outcome. Extinction generally involves the formation of a new inhibitory memory rather than the destruction of the previous memory [2]. Knowledge about the extinction process has important clinical applications, for instance, for the treatment of drugs addiction and abnormal fear of a past event (e.g. war trauma) in humans [3].

The extinction phenomenon was first described by Pavlov in 1927 in experiments with dogs using classical conditioning, the association of an unconditioned stimulus (US, for example a reward) with an initially neutral stimulus that becomes a conditioned stimulus (CS) producing the response in the absence of the US. After a successful conditioning (CS–US association), Pavlov observed the conditioned responses stopped after a few unrewarded CS presentations, leading to the extinction of the conditioned behaviour. Extinction does not erase the old memory. It is rather a new learning (creation of a CS–no US association). Therefore, two memories coexist. When time passes after successful extinction, the original behaviour may reappear (called spontaneous recovery or relapse), through a decay of the extinction memory [2]. Associative learning and extinction are widespread in the animal kingdom and have been intensively studied in several vertebrate species such as mice [4] or zebrafish [5] and also in invertebrates species such as snails [6], crabs [7] or nematodes [8]. Among invertebrates, insects like fruit flies became key model species for learning and memory [9–11]. Insects are well suited for laboratory studies because they are relatively easy to keep, they have short reproductive cycles and offer easy access to brain structures (e.g. crickets, [12]). Learning and extinction have also been investigated in social insects, including bumblebees [13,14] and honeybees [2,15]. Among social insects, ants are the most diverse group with more than 14 000 described species, which represent up to 25% of the total animal biomass on Earth [16]. Visual learning in ants has been intensively studied, also at the individual level, in the context of spatial orientation and navigation [17–19]. Individual olfactory learning has been less investigated [20–27]. Carpenter ants are very efficient in discriminating between different odorants [24,26] and even between different concentrations of the same compound [27]. Recently, workers of Lasius niger were shown to be able to learn odour–reward associations after only one training trial, while more trials were required when using spatial cues instead of odours [23]. However, in this study, the dynamics of memory formation was not investigated. We know that individual ants can form long-term olfactory memories after six CS–US presentations [22], but whether fewer conditioning trials lead to long-term memory (LTM) is unclear. Furthermore, data about extinction of olfactory learned associations are very scarce in ants [28].

In the present work, we present the results of a laboratory study on individual associative olfactory learning, memory and extinction in the ant Formica fusca. Among ants, the genus Formica was described as one of the most advanced from a cognitive point of view (especially concerning communication and learning) [29]. Formica fusca is widely distributed and lives in a variety of environments with a large range of temperatures, resources, predators and competitors. Colonies are populous (hundreds of individuals) and grow well in laboratory conditions. We investigated the acquisition performance of individual ants by changing the number of conditioning trials (from one to six). We tested ants' memory abilities by subjecting them to a memory test between 1 h and one week after training. We then categorized the memory using a pharmacological approach by administrating a protein synthesis inhibitor. Finally, we studied the extinction phenomenon in individual ants, by measuring their behaviour after unrewarded presentations of the CS.

I’ll See It When I Believe It: Highly numerate people who receive scientific data about Anthropogenic Climate Change use motivated numeracy to rationalize their interpretations in line with their attitudes

I’ll See It When I Believe It: Motivated Numeracy in Perceptions of Climate Change Risk. Matthew S. Nurse & Will J. Grant. Environmental Communication, Jun 16 2019.

ABSTRACT: People’s attitudes about Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC) risks are not only influenced by scientific data, such as the likelihood of harm, the consequences of failing to act and the cost and effectiveness of mitigation. Instead, when people receive information about controversial topics of decision-relevant science like ACC they often defer to their political attitudes. Recent research has shown that more numerate people can be more polarized about these topics despite their better ability to interpret the scientific data. In this study, we investigated whether the motivated numeracy effect originally found by Kahan, Peters, Dawson, and Slovic [2017. Motivated numeracy and enlightened self-government. Behavioural Public Policy, 1(1)] on the controversial topic of gun control laws in the United States also applies to people when assessing ACC risks. This randomized controlled experiment (N = 504) of Australian adults extends the motivated reasoning thesis by finding evidence that highly numerate people who receive scientific data about ACC use motivated numeracy to rationalize their interpretations in line with their attitudes.

KEYWORDS: Climate change communication, motivated numeracy, motivated reasoning, identity-protective cognition, rejection of science

The data that support the findings of this study are openly available in figshare at

Check also
Why Smart People Are Vulnerable to Putting Tribe Before Truth. Dan M Kahan. Scientific American, Dec 03 2018.
Baum, J., Rabovsky, M., Rose, S. B., & Abdel Rahman, R. (2018). Clear judgments based on unclear evidence: Person evaluation is strongly influenced by untrustworthy gossip. Emotion,

The key mechanism that generates scientific polarization involves treating evidence generated by other agents as uncertain when their beliefs are relatively different from one’s own:

Scientific polarization. Cailin O’Connor, James Owen Weatherall. European Journal for Philosophy of Science. October 2018, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 855–875.

Polarized Mass or Polarized Few? Assessing the Parallel Rise of Survey Nonresponse and Measures of Polarization. Amnon Cavari and Guy Freedman. The Journal of Politics,

Tappin, Ben M., and Ryan McKay. 2018. “Moral Polarization and Out-party Hate in the US Political Context.” PsyArXiv. November 2.

Forecasting tournaments, epistemic humility and attitude depolarization. Barbara Mellers, PhilipTetlock, Hal R. Arkes. Cognition,

Does residential sorting explain geographic polarization? Gregory J. Martin & Steven W. Webster. Political Science Research and Methods,

Liberals and conservatives have mainly moved further apart on a wide variety of policy issues; the divergence is substantial quantitatively and in its plausible political impact: intra party moderation has become increasingly unlikely:

Peltzman, Sam, Polarizing Currents within Purple America (August 20, 2018). SSRN:

Does Having a Political Discussion Help or Hurt Intergroup Perceptions? Drawing Guidance From Social Identity Theory and the Contact Hypothesis. Robert M. Bond, Hillary C. Shulman, Michael Gilbert. Bond Vol 12 (2018),

All the interactions took the form of subjects rating stories offering ‘ammunition’ for their own side of the controversial issue as possessing greater intrinsic news importance:

Perceptions of newsworthiness are contaminated by a political usefulness bias. Harold Pashler, Gail Heriot. Royal Society Open Science,

When do we care about political neutrality? The hypocritical nature of reaction to political bias. Omer Yair, Raanan Sulitzeanu-Kenan. PLOS,

Democrats & Republicans were both more likely to believe news about the value-upholding behavior of their in-group or the value-undermining behavior of their out-group; Republicans were more likely to believe & want to share apolitical fake news:

Pereira, Andrea, and Jay Van Bavel. 2018. “Identity Concerns Drive Belief in Fake News.” PsyArXiv. September 11.

In self-judgment, the "best option illusion" leads to Dunning-Kruger (failure to recognize our own incompetence). In social judgment, it leads to the Cassandra quandary (failure to identify when another person’s competence exceeds our own): The best option illusion in self and social assessment. David Dunning. Self and Identity,

People are more inaccurate when forecasting their own future prospects than when forecasting others, in part the result of biased visual experience. People orient visual attention and resolve visual ambiguity in ways that support self-interests: "Visual experience in self and social judgment: How a biased majority claim a superior minority." Emily Balcetis & Stephanie A. Cardenas. Self and Identity,

Can we change our biased minds? Michael Gross. Current Biology, Volume 27, Issue 20, 23 October 2017, Pages R1089–R1091.

Summary: A simple test taken by millions of people reveals that virtually everybody has implicit biases that they are unaware of and that may clash with their explicit beliefs. From policing to scientific publishing, all activities that deal with people are at risk of making wrong decisions due to bias. Raising awareness is the first step towards improving the outcomes.

People believe that future others' preferences and beliefs will change to align with their own:

The Belief in a Favorable Future. Todd Rogers, Don Moore and Michael Norton. Psychological Science, Volume 28, issue 9, page(s): 1290-1301,

Kahan, Dan M. and Landrum, Asheley and Carpenter, Katie and Helft, Laura and Jamieson, Kathleen Hall, Science Curiosity and Political Information Processing (August 1, 2016). Advances in Political Psychology, Forthcoming; Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 561. Available at SSRN:

Abstract: This paper describes evidence suggesting that science curiosity counteracts politically biased information processing. This finding is in tension with two bodies of research. The first casts doubt on the existence of “curiosity” as a measurable disposition. The other suggests that individual differences in cognition related to science comprehension - of which science curiosity, if it exists, would presumably be one - do not mitigate politically biased information processing but instead aggravate it. The paper describes the scale-development strategy employed to overcome the problems associated with measuring science curiosity. It also reports data, observational and experimental, showing that science curiosity promotes open-minded engagement with information that is contrary to individuals’ political predispositions. We conclude by identifying a series of concrete research questions posed by these results.

Keywords: politically motivated reasoning, curiosity, science communication, risk perception

Facebook news and (de)polarization: reinforcing spirals in the 2016 US election. Michael A. Beam, Myiah J. Hutchens & Jay D. Hmielowski. Information, Communication & Society,

The Partisan Brain: An Identity-Based Model of Political Belief. Jay J. Van Bavel, Andrea Pereira. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Volume 22, Issue 3, March 2018, Pages 213-224,

The Parties in our Heads: Misperceptions About Party Composition and Their Consequences. Douglas J. Ahler, Gaurav Sood. Aug 2017,

The echo chamber is overstated: the moderating effect of political interest and diverse media. Elizabeth Dubois & Grant Blank. Information, Communication & Society,

Processing political misinformation: comprehending the Trump phenomenon. Briony Swire, Adam J. Berinsky, Stephan Lewandowsky, Ullrich K. H. Ecker. Royal Society Open Science, published on-line March 01 2017. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.160802,

Competing cues: Older adults rely on knowledge in the face of fluency. By Brashier, Nadia M.; Umanath, Sharda; Cabeza, Roberto; Marsh, Elizabeth J. Psychology and Aging, Vol 32(4), Jun 2017, 331-337.

Stanley, M. L., Dougherty, A. M., Yang, B. W., Henne, P., & De Brigard, F. (2017). Reasons Probably Won’t Change Your Mind: The Role of Reasons in Revising Moral Decisions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Science Denial Across the Political Divide — Liberals and Conservatives Are Similarly Motivated to Deny Attitude-Inconsistent Science. Anthony N. Washburn, Linda J. Skitka. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 10.1177/1948550617731500.

Biased Policy Professionals. Sheheryar Banuri, Stefan Dercon, and Varun Gauri. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 8113.

Dispelling the Myth: Training in Education or Neuroscience Decreases but Does Not Eliminate Beliefs in Neuromyths. Kelly Macdonald et al. Frontiers in Psychology, Aug 10 2017.

Individuals with greater science literacy and education have more polarized beliefs on controversial science topics. Caitlin Drummond and Baruch Fischhoff. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 114 no. 36, pp 9587–9592, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1704882114,

Expert ability can actually impair the accuracy of expert perception when judging others' performance: Adaptation and fallibility in experts' judgments of novice performers. By Larson, J. S., & Billeter, D. M. (2017). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 43(2), 271–288.

Public Perceptions of Partisan Selective Exposure. Perryman, Mallory R. The University of Wisconsin - Madison, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2017. 10607943.

The Myth of Partisan Selective Exposure: A Portrait of the Online Political News Audience. Jacob L. Nelson, and James G. Webster. Social Media + Society,

Echo Chamber? What Echo Chamber? Reviewing the Evidence. Axel Bruns. Future of Journalism 2017 Conference.

Fake news and post-truth pronouncements in general and in early human development. Victor Grech. Early Human Development,

Consumption of fake news is a consequence, not a cause of their readers’ voting preferences. Kahan, Dan M., Misinformation and Identity-Protective Cognition (October 2, 2017). Social Science Research Network,

We found no significant difference between Green and Not-green academics in total air travel emissions, or in the types of emissions that might be easiest to avoid

Academic air travel has a limited influence on professional success. Seth Wynes et al. Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 226, 20 July 2019, Pages 959-967.

Abstract: Lowering the growth in greenhouse gas emissions from air travel may be critical for avoiding dangerous levels of climate change, and yet some individuals perceive frequent air travel to be critical to their professional success. Using a sample of 705 travellers at the University of British Columbia, we investigated the influence of career stage, research productivity, field of expertise, and other variables on academic air travel and the associated emissions. This is the first time that research has evaluated the link between observed air travel and academic success. First, we compared air travel behaviour at different career stages and found that individuals at the start of their careers were responsible for fewer emissions from air travel than senior academics. Second, since career advancement may depend on an academic’s ability to form partnerships and disseminate their research abroad, we investigated the relationship between air travel emissions and publicly available bibliometric measurements. We found no relationship between air travel emissions and metrics of academic productivity including hIa (h-index adjusted for academic age and discipline). There was, however, a relationship between emissions and salary that remains significant even when controlling for seniority. Finally, based on the premise that academics studying topics related to sustainability may have greater responsibility or motivation to reduce their emissions, we coded 165 researchers in our sample as either “Green” or “Not-green.” We found no significant difference between Green and Not-green academics in total air travel emissions, or in the types of emissions that might be easiest to avoid. Taken together, this preliminary evidence suggests that there may be opportunities, especially for academics who study topics related to climate and sustainability, to reduce their emissions from air travel while maintaining productive careers.

Check also The Behavior of Ethicists.  Eric Schwitzgebel and Joshua Rust. In A Companion to Experimental Philosophy, edited by Justin Sytsma and Wesley Buckwalter. Aug 2017.

From 2012: Men rated freedom of speech more important than did women; the perceived harm of hate speech was positively related to intellect & liberalism; women perceived a greater harm of hate speech

Predicting the Importance of Freedom of Speech and the Perceived Harm of Hate Speech. Daniel M Downs, Gloria Cowan. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Volume42, Issue6, June 2012, Pages 1353-1375.

Abstract: Although freedom of speech is a fundamental value in the United States, individuals vary in the importance they place on it. The purpose of this study was to examine personality and attitudinal factors that may influence an individual's judgments of the importance of freedom of speech and, secondarily, the harm of hate speech. As expected, the importance of freedom of speech was positively related to intellect, individualism, separate knowing, and negatively related to right‐wing authoritarianism. Men rated freedom of speech more important than did women. The perceived harm of hate speech was positively related to intellect and liberalism, and women perceived a greater harm of hate speech than did men.

Check also Foodie Calls, Or When Women Date Men for a Free Meal (Rather Than a Relationship): 23–33% of women surveyed had engaged in a foodie call; related to the the dark triad traits
Foodie Calls: When Women Date Men for a Free Meal (Rather Than a Relationship). Brian Collisson, Jennifer L. Howell, Trista Harig. Social Psychological and Personality Science, June 20, 2019.

Failed to replicate previous nonrandomized observational studies, which had suggested that ratings of female physical attractiveness by males are sensitive to the levels of hunger

No impact of hunger on male perception of female physical attractiveness in relation to adiposity: a randomized controlled trial. Z. Jin, G. Wang, S. Hu & J. R. Speakman . International Journal of Obesity (2019), June 17 2019.

Background: Female physical attractiveness is strongly related to body mass index (BMI). Females with lower BMI are on average more attractive down to at least BMI = 18. Previous correlational studies have indicated that this effect may be modulated by the hunger of the rater, with more hungry raters preferring images of subjects with greater adiposity. This prior work, however, was correlational and so we wished to explore this phenomenon further using a randomized controlled trial.

Methods and subjects: Two studies are presented. In the first, 52 male participants were recruited and after an overnight fast were randomly allocated to either fed or starved treatments. Starved individuals continued not to feed, while fed individuals were given ad libitum access to foods and were encouraged to eat to full satiation. Their hunger levels were monitored using visual analog scales (VAS) and levels of circulating glucose. Four hours later, they were asked to complete a previously used female attractiveness rating test, a standard IQ test, and a memory recall test. In the second study, which was a double-blind experiment, 32 individuals were recruited to evaluate if the original effect was due to a confounding impact of alcohol consumption when dining. Blinded individuals consumed drinks with or without alcohol. Their circulating alcohol levels were quantified by a breath test, and they repeated the tests matched with the first study excluding the IQ test.

Results: Hunger resulted in lower performance on the memory recall test, but had no effect on the IQ score, and contrasting previous results had no effect on the ratings of female physical attractiveness. Circulating alcohol levels had no effect on the memory recall test, but there was a significant negative relationship between circulating alcohol and the mean adiposity of the five individuals rated as least attractive.

Conclusions: This randomized controlled trial failed to replicate previous nonrandomized observational studies, which had suggested that ratings of female physical attractiveness by males are sensitive to the levels of hunger. The reason for the difference was possibly because in previous studies, levels of hunger were confounded by alcohol consumption.

Rats can use imagery to fill in missing details of the world that are expected but hidden from perception; they make use of an active expectation (i.e., an image) of a hidden visual event

Mental imagery in animals: Learning, memory, and decision-making in the face of missing information. Aaron P. Blaisdell. Learning & Behavior, June 21 2019.

Abstract: When we open our eyes, we see a world filled with objects and events. Yet, due to occlusion of some objects by others, we only have partial perceptual access to the events that transpire around us. I discuss the body of research on mental imagery in animals. I first cover prior studies of mental rotation in pigeons and imagery using working memory procedures first developed for human studies. Next, I discuss the seminal work on a type of learning called mediated conditioning in rats. I then provide more in-depth coverage of work from my lab suggesting that rats can use imagery to fill in missing details of the world that are expected but hidden from perception. We have found that rats make use of an active expectation (i.e., an image) of a hidden visual event. I describe the behavioral and neurobiological studies investigating the use of a mental image, its theoretical basis, and its connections to current human cognitive neuroscience research on episodic memory, imagination, and mental simulations. Collectively, the reviewed literature provides insight into the mechanisms that mediate the flexible use of an image during ambiguous situations. I position this work in the broader scientific and philosophical context surrounding the concept of mental imagery in human and nonhuman animals.

Keywords: Mental imagery Associative learning Comparative cognition Rat Pigeon