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The salience of part-whole relatedness on reasoning about relative magnitude

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Title: The salience of part-whole relatedness on reasoning about relative magnitude
Author(s): Sailor, Kevin Matthew
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Shoben, Edward J.
Department / Program: Psychology, Experimental
Discipline: Psychology, Experimental
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Psychology, Experimental
Abstract: Three experiments demonstrate that part-whole pairs (e.g., tree-leaf) are processed much differently than pairs of unrelated objects in comparative judgment tasks. In Experiment 1 subjects verified the relative size of part-whole pairs and unrelated controls. The effect of symbolic distance was much smaller for part-whole pairs than for unrelated controls. This attenuation of the symbolic distance effect is inconsistent with most models of comparative judgment because they propose that relative magnitude is computed from a comparison of absolute magnitude. Experiment 2 tested the hypothesis that the relative magnitude of part-whole pairs is determined by directly retrieving relational information. Subjects judged which of two objects was closer to a third reference object. Subjects were reliably faster for triples with part-whole pairs only when the part-whole relation could be used to infer which of the two objects was closer to the reference object. This result indicates that the attenuation of symbolic distance in Experiment 1 is attributable to the use of relational information. Finally, an introduction of a SOA between stimulus pair and question in Experiment 3 provided evidence that some of the advantage of part-whole pairs is attributable to an early encoding advantage.
Issue Date: 1991
Type: Text
Language: English
Rights Information: Copyright 1991 Sailor, Kevin Matthew
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog: AAI9124480
OCLC Identifier: (UMI)AAI9124480

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