On the relative speed account of number-size interference effects in comparative judgments of numerals
SourceJournal of Experimental Psychology B-Human Perception and Performance, 29, 3, (2003), pp. 507-522
Article / Letter to editor
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FSW_PSY_MA Mathematische psychologie
SW OZ DCC BO
Journal of Experimental Psychology B-Human Perception and Performance
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control
Humans show systematic congruency effects due to irrelevant variations of the numerical value or the physical size of digits in judgments about either of these 2 attributes alone. According to influential models (e.g., J. Tzelgov, J. Meyer, & A. Henik, 1992), these effects are characterized by genuine asymmetries of size and number processing not accounted for by simple relative speed considerations, whereas some recent work (e.g., A. Pansky & D. Algom, 1999) partly challenges this view. This article presents 2 qualitative gradient-based predictions made by relative speed models and a diffusion-based implementation of the relative speed view to quantitatively account for response times and error rates in comparative judgments of digits. The results of 2 experiments using a completely task-symmetric design are in accord with these detailed predictions; they are also consistent with the view that both number and size are converted into magnitude representations of similar structure.
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