Stimulus-Response Compatibility in Spatial Precuing and Symbolic Identification: Effects of Coding Practice, Retention and Transfer
Final rept. 1 Oct 1987-31 Mar 1989
AUBURN UNIV AL
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Research on stimulus-response compatibility effects is reviewed, with an integrated theoretical perspective provided that stresses mental coding of the stimulus and response sets. Eleven experiments, plus two follow-up experiments, are described in detail. The first six evaluate the nature of the codings used in spatial-precuing tasks. The remaining seven experiments examine the influence of practice on performance in the spatial- precuing tasks, as well as in symbolic-compatibility tasks. The experiments show that the codings used by subjects are affected by manipulations of the stimulus set but not of the response set. Compatibility effects within both tasks are reduced greatly by three sessions of practice. Transfer of these benefits to related tasks occurs in situations for which the response set is not altered. However, after more extended practice, partial transfer occurs even when the response set is changed. The results are interpreted in terms of an account that emphasizes salient-feature codings in a declarative stage of skill acquisition, with task- specific procedures acquired from practice.