PERCEPTUAL RECOGNITION AS A FUNCTION OF MEANINGFULNESS OF STIMULUS MATERIAL.
MICHIGAN UNIV ANN ARBOR HUMAN PERFORMANCE CENTER
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The study was designed to study the level of information processing at which the observed serial nature of information handling is imposed. While earlier models suggest that raw sensory information is handled serially, evidence is obtained to support the notion of parallel processing of this type of information. One or two single letters, four-letter common words, or four-letter non-words were presented tachistoscopically for three different durations. The stimulus display was immediately followed by a masking field along with two single-letter response alternatives. The task for the subject was to choose the letter which had appeared in the original display and to state his confidence about the correctness of his response. On half of the trials subjects were given the two response alternatives before the stimulus display as well as after it. Performance on single words was clearly better than performance on other types of material. Performance on single words, letters, or non-words was better than performance on two of the same type of material. Giving response alternatives both before the stimulus display and after it caused fairly uniform impairment of performance in all conditions. On the basis of these results, an argument was made for a system which processes raw input information in parallel but handles the resultant highly processed chunks serially. Author