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  • Casey Experiment 1
    • Aim
      • To investigate whether ability to delay gratification as a child predicts impulse control as an adult
      • To investigate the relationship between activity in regions of the brin
      • To investigate whether particular regions pf the brain in low delayers are more sensitive to alluring social cues than in the brains of high delayers. Happy faces are used beuse rewards become more cognitively complex as we age
    • Procedure
      • Measures
        • the accuracy and response latency of button pressed, i.e. the number of false alarms and the time it took to respond with a button press
      • Go/No go tasks: Ps are instructed to press button on Go trials (when female face appears)  and do not press button on No-Go trials (when male face appears). Each trial is an image taken from NimSim, displayed on a computer screen for 0.5s. Each image is called a stimulus, after each image, there is an inter-stimulus interval of 1s. 160 trials per run, 120 with Go and 40 with No-Go. 4 runs of Hot and Cool versions. Instructions were given to the P saying which stimulus (male/female) and the target (which button to press). There was an equal number of of trials with male and female faces. The go/no-go test was preloaded onto a a laptop and sent to the P's home; the trials were pseudorandomised (delivered in an unpredictable order)
        • COOL TASK: Ps are presented with neutral faces that don't activate the ventral striatum which is involved in desire and gratification, so Ps were expected to perform better in this version of the task.
          • HOT TASK: Ps are presented with happy or fearful faces. Happy faces are alluring and social cues so we wanted to respond, and so our ventral striatum is activated so it is expected that P's would do worse on no-go trials when hapy faces are presented, particularly in low delayers who are sensitive to hot cues.
    • Sample
      • Participnts found to be low delayers (poor self-control ratings and difficulty completeing delay of gratification task) or high delayers (good self-control ratigs and complted delay of gratification task) in previous tests by the researches at age 4 for delay of gratification, and age 02 and 30 for self-control, were contacted. They were asked to take part in the next series of experiments in this longitudinal study. All Ps were now in their 40s. Only 59 out 117 consented to participants. 32 high delayers : 22f, 12m; 27 low delayers: 16f, 11m
    • Research method
      • Quasi: IV is naturally occurring - Ps are either in the low or high delayers condition based on their traits
    • Design
      • Independent measures: Ps are either grouped as high or low delayers for the self-control IV
        • Repeated measures: hot/cool conditions are carried out by all participants across separate runs
    • Findings
      • There was no difference in accuracy or latency (response times) for go trials for high and low delayers.
        • Suggests that both groups of high and low delayers showed the same cognitive ability; shows that they use of the same region of the brain
      • In no-go trials the mean false alarm for the cool task was 9.96% and for the hot task was 12.2%
        • shows that social cues act as an alluring situation which reduces impulse control. This may be due to the fact happy faces activate the ventral striatum which is also imvolved in exciting responses to complex social situations and instant gratificationn
      • Low and high delayers performed similarly on the cool task, but the low delayers tended to perform more poorly on the hot task than the high delayers
      • Individuals, who as a group, had more difficulty delaying gratification at 4 years of age (low delayers) showed more difficulty as adults in suppressing responses to happy faces than high delayers


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