Psychological Research

, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 270–279 | Cite as

Inverting the Simon effect by intention

Determinants of direction and extent of effects of irrelevant spatial information
  • Bernhard Hommel


The Simon effect indicates that choice reactions can be performed more quickly if the response corresponds spatially to the stimulus - even when stimulus location is irrelevant to the task. Two experiments tested an intentional approach to the Simon effect that assigns a critical role to the cognitively represented action goal (i. e., the intended action effect). It was assumed that the direction of the Simon effect depends on stimulus-goal correspondence, that is, that responses are faster with spatial correspondence of stimulus and intended action effect. Experiment 1 confirmed that the direction of the Simon effect was determined by spatial correspondence of stimulus and intended action effect, the latter having been manipulated by different instructions. Experiment 2 indicated that effects of correspondences unrelated to the action goal (i. e., stimulus to hand location or to anatomical mapping of the hand), contributed additively to the resulting Simon effect. It is discussed how current approaches to the Simon effect can be elaborated to account for these results.


Critical Role Action Effect Current Approach Simon Effect Stimulus Location 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernhard Hommel
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für Psychologische ForschungMünchenGermany

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