THE EFFECT OF VERBAL ASSOCIATION TRAINING ON MEMORY FOR SYSTEMATICALLY DERIVED RANDOM POLYGONS.
AuthorSTEVENS, JOSEPH JOHN.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractSeveral explanations have been offered to account for information processing of visual forms and the influence of verbal labels associated with those forms. These accounts have differed in their emphasis on processes of encoding, storage, or retrieval as that primary locus of the effects of label-form association. While the three acounts are not incompatible, previous explanations have failed to provide an integrated explanation of the process of form memory. The present study was composed of two experiments that addressed psychological perception of form stimuli. In the first experiment, a novel mathematical method was used to describe and generate four families of random-polygon form stimuli of graded similarity. The model's Euclidean metric provided a close linear fit to the obtained judgments of similarity among polygons. The second experiment examined the associative influence of verbal labels on memory for the polygons used in the first experiment. Subjects learned to associate either the same label or two different labels with two form stimuli from the same family and one "control" polygon and one label from the third and fourth families. A paired comparison recognition test was used in which training stimuli were presented with unfamiliar stimuli from the same family either immediately, two days or four days after training. Subjects' recognition gradients on the control forms demonstrated a clear differentiation between the correct training form and incorrect variation forms. Recognition gradients were markedly different, however, for same- vs. different-labeled forms. Training with different labels produced a gradient with a mode centered over the correct target form. Training with same labels produced a recognition gradient with a mode shifted in the direction suggested by the same label. Results of the present study are most consistent with a model of form memory in which different processes may predominate as a function of stimulus complexity and degree of training. In some cases an associative encoding process is the result of label-form association. In others, including the present study, label-form association directs dynamic processing, resulting in novel assimilational representations of stimulus information.