Testing Reaction Times of Local and Global Perception Essay

2336 Words Apr 25th, 2011 10 Pages
Global and Local Processing in Visual Perception

Abstract
This study examined visual perception and the rates at which global and local features are reacted to with an aim of replicating and validating a previous experiment conducted by Navon (1977) to see if global processing was faster than local processing. There was 222 University of Newcastle students participating in the experiment, partaking in two phases, one centred round global processing, the other around local processing, where there reaction times were recorded using a computer program and imputed into a data worksheet. Results indicated that, as predicted, global processing occurred at a faster rate than local processing. It was concluded that global features were
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It was therefore hypothesised that the reaction times for global judgments would be faster than the reaction times of local judgments. It was also hypothesised that consistent stimuli would be faster than conflicting stimuli in the local tasks.
Method
Participants
The sample for this study consisted of 222 participants who were second year psychology students from the University of Newcastle. All students were participating as part of a course requirement and all had given their consent to participating in the study.
Design
The independent variables consisted of 3 consistency types (contingent, neutral and conflicting displays). The dependant variable was the reaction time of participants.
Apparatus
A computerised program SuperLab Pro and a keyboard was required in order to record reaction times.
Stimuli
In the first phase of this study that was based around recognising global features, the letters used were large H’s or S’s. In the second phase, global letters of H, S and O were used and were made up of smaller H’s or S’s, the local characters. These make up the 3 stimulus types: congruent, neutral and conflicting. The large and small letters could be combined to create 3 types of displays: 1) Consistent, where the large and small letters were the same (H printed from small H’s, or S made of small S’s). 2) Conflicting (H made of small S’s, S made of small H’s), and 3) Neutral (H made of O’s, S made of

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