The bivalency effect in task switching: General and enduring

Meier, Beat; Woodward, Todd S.; Rey-Mermet, Alodie; Graf, Peter (2009). The bivalency effect in task switching: General and enduring. Canadian journal of experimental psychology - Revue canadienne de psychologie expérimentale, 63(3), pp. 201-210. Canadian Psychological Association 10.1037/a0014311

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the generality and temporal endurance of the bivalency effect in task switching. This effect refers to the slowing on univalent stimuli that occurs when bivalent stimuli appear occasionally. We used a paradigm involving predictable switches between 3 simple tasks, with bivalent stimuli occasionally occurring on one of the tasks. The generality of the bivalency effect was investigated by using different tasks and different types of bivalent stimuli, and the endurance of this effect was investigated across different intertrial intervals (ITIs) and across the univalent trials that followed trials with bivalent stimuli. In 3 experiments, the results showed a general, robust, and enduring bivalency effect for all ITI conditions. Although the effect declined across trials, it remained significant for about 4 trials following one with a bivalent stimulus. Our findings emphasise the importance of top–down processes in task-switching performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Experimental Psychology and Neuropsychology

UniBE Contributor:

Meier, Beat and Rey-Mermet, Alodie


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Canadian Psychological Association




Anna Maria Ruprecht Künzli

Date Deposited:

06 Nov 2014 10:15

Last Modified:

17 Nov 2014 07:54

Publisher DOI:


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