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The violation of expectation (VOE) task can be used to query adults' and young children's knowledge and learning about many topics. A minimum, participants are shown a pair of events - one that is more expected, and one that is more unexpected. Participants can be asked to make all sorts of judgments - adults can rate how surprising the outcomes are, and infants can be given the opportunity to look at the events for as long as they choose. The logic behind this task is that if participants have the hypothesized expectation entailed in the contrast between these stimuli, then they should rate one events as more surprising than the other.

In studies of infants, especially those that measure looking behavior, there is usually a sequence of familiarization trials first, to give participants enough opportunity to encode the events, and (sometimes) to teach them a particular expectation. After this phase, infants are then shown the expected and unexpected outcomes.

The validity of this task hinges on how well-controlled the stimuli are. Oftentimes researchers run many conditions in order to narrow in on exactly what aspects of the stimuli participants are responding to.

Definition contributed by SLiu
violation-of-expectation task has been asserted to measure the following CONCEPTS
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Phenotypes associated with violation-of-expectation task


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IMPLEMENTATIONS of violation-of-expectation task
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EXTERNAL DATASETS for violation-of-expectation task
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Experimental conditions are the subsets of an experiment that define the relevant experimental manipulation.


You must specify conditions before you can define contrasts.

In the Cognitive Atlas, we define a contrast as any function over experimental conditions. The simplest contrast is the indicator value for a specific condition; more complex contrasts include linear or nonlinear functions of the indicator across different experimental conditions.


No indicators have yet been associated.

An indicator is a specific quantitative or qualitative variable that is recorded for analysis. These may include behavioral variables (such as response time, accuracy, or other measures of performance) or physiological variables (including genetics, psychophysiology, or brain imaging data).