Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 344–351 | Cite as

Priming impossible figures in the object decision test: The critical importance of perceived stimulus complexity

Brief Reports
  • 391 Downloads

Abstract

Previous research showed that object decision priming was found for possible, but not impossible, three-dimensional objects (e.g., Schacter, Cooper, & Delaney, 1990; Schacter, Cooper, Delaney, Peterson, & Tharan, 1991). We tested those objects and found that the impossible objects were subjectively more complex than the possible objects. We then constructed two sets of possible and impossible objects—one set that was equated for complexity, and one set that differed— for use in the object decision test. The results showed that when impossible objects were high in complexity and possible objects were low in complexity, priming was found only for possible objects; when possible and impossible objects were equated at a moderate level of complexity, priming was observed for both object types. These findings indicate that perceived object complexity, more than object possibility-impossibility, determined priming in the object decision test. The demonstration of object decision priming for possible and impossible objects calls for a reformulation of the structural description system explanation.

Keywords

Journal ofExperimental Psychology Implicit Memory Object Type Explicit Memory Object Decision 

References

  1. Attneave, F. (1955). Symmetry, information, and memory for patterns.American Journal of Psychology,68, 209–222.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Attneave, F. (1957). Physical determinants of the judged complexity of shapes.Journal of Experimental Psychology,53, 221–227.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Chipman, S. F. (1977). Complexity and structure in visual patterns.Journal of Experimental Psychology: General,106, 269–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cooper, L. A., Schacter, D. L., Ballesteros, S., &Moore, C. (1992). Priming and recognition of transformed three-dimensional objects: Effects of size and reflection.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,18, 43–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fehrer, E. V. (1935). An investigation of the learning of visually perceived forms.American Journal of Psychology,47, 187–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. French, R. S. (1954). Identification of dot patterns from memory as a function of complexity.Journal of Experimental Psychology,47, 22–26.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Ganor-Stern, D.,Seamon, J. G., &Carrasco, M. (June, 1995).Explicit and implicit memory for novel three-dimensional objects require attention. Poster presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Society, New York.Google Scholar
  8. Graf, P. (1994). Explicit and implicit memory: A decade of research. In D. L. Schacter & E. Tulving (Eds.),Memory systems 1994. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  9. Graf, P., &Schacter, D. L. (1985). Implicit and explicit memory for new associations in normal and amnesic subjects.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,11, 501–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hochberg, J., &Brooks, V. (1960). The psychophysics of form: Reversible-perspective drawings of spatial objects.American Journal of Psychology,73, 337–354.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Kinchla, R. A. (1994). Comments on Batchelder and Reiffer’s multinomial model of source monitoring.Psychological Review,101, 166–171.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Moscovitch, M., Goshen-Gottstein, Y., &Vriezen, E. (1994). Memory without conscious recollection: A tutorial review from a neuropsychological perspective. In C. Umiltà & M. Moscovitch (Eds.),Attention and performance XV: Conscious and nonconscious information processing (pp. 619–660). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  13. Murdock, B. B., Jr. (1974).Human memory: Theory and data. Potomac, MD: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  14. Murphy, G. L., &Hutchinson, J. W. (1982). Memory for forms: Common memory formats for verbal and visual stimulus presentations.Memory & Cognition,10, 54–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ratcliff, R., &McKoon, G. (1995). Bias in the priming of object decisions.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,21, 754–767.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Richardson-Klavehn, A., &Bjork, R. A. (1988). Measures of memory.Annual Review of Psychology,39, 475–543.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Roediger, H. L., III, &McDermott, K. B. (1993). Implicit memory in normal subjects. In F. Boller & J. Grafman (Eds.),Handbook of neuropsychology (Vol. 8, pp. 63–131). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  18. Schacter, D. L. (1987). Implicit memory: History and current status.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,13, 501–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Schacter, D. L. (1994). Priming and multiple memory systems: Perceptual mechanisms of implicit memory. In D. L. Schacter & E. Tulving (Eds.),Memory systems 1994 (pp. 233–268). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  20. Schacter, D. L., &Cooper, L. A. (1993). Implicit and explicit memory for novel visual objects: Structure and function.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,19, 995–1009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Schacter, D. L., &Cooper, L. A. (1995). Bias in the priming of object decisions: Logic, assumption, and data.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,21, 768–776.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Schacter, D. L., Cooper, L. A., &Delaney, S. M. (1990). Implicit memory for unfamiliar objects depends on access to structural descriptions.Journal of Experimental Psychology: General,119, 5–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Schacter, D. L., Cooper, L. A., Delaney, S. M., Peterson, M. A., &Tharan, M. (1991). Implicit memory for possible and impossible objects: Constraints on the construction of structural descriptions.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,17, 3–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Schacter, D. L., Cooper, L. A., Tharan, M., &Rubens, A. B. (1991). Preserved priming of novel objects in patients with memory disorders.Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience,3, 118–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Schacter, D. L., Cooper, L. A., &Treadwell, J. (1993). Preserved priming of novel objects across size transformations in amnesic patients.Psychological Science,4, 331–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Schacter, D. L., Cooper, L. A., &Valdiserri, M. (1992). Implicit and explicit memory for novel visual objects in older and younger adults.Psychology & Aging,7, 299–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Schacter, D. L., &Tulving, E. (1994). What are the memory systems of 1994? In D. L. Schacter & E. Tulving (Eds.),Memory systems 1994. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  28. Seamon, J. G., Williams, P. C., Crowley, M. J., Kim, I. J., Langer, S. A., Orne, P. J., &Wishengrad, D. L. (1995). The mere exposure effect is based on implicit memory: Effects of stimulus type, encoding conditions, and number of exposures on recognition and affect judgments.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,21, 711–721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Snodgrass, J. G., &Vanderwart, M. (1980). A standardized set of 260 pictures: Norms for name agreement, image agreement, familiarity, and visual complexity.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,6, 174–215.Google Scholar
  30. Vanderplas, J. M., &Garvin, E. A. (1959). Complexity, association value, and practice as factors in shape recognition following pairedassociates training.Journal of Experimental Psychology,57, 155–163.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNew York UniversityNew York
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyWesleyan UniversityMiddletown

Personalised recommendations