The role of familiarity and orientation in immediate and delayed recognition of pictorial stimuli
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of familiarity and changes in stimulus orientation on immediate and delayed recognition of human faces, canine faces, and buildings. Eighty Ss were assigned randomly to one of four experimental conditions: immediate or delayed recognition of stimuli presented and tested in the same orientation and immediate or delayed recognition of stimuli presented and tested in opposite orientations. Results indicated that familiar stimuli presented for seven successive inspection trials were significantly better recognized than were unfamiliar stimuli inspected only once. Recognition performance declined as a function of stimulus rotation and a 20-min delay in testing. This decline was significantly greater for human faces than for other stimuli, regardless of the recall interval used. It was concluded that increased familiarity improved recognition and that the disproportionate difficulty for rotated human faces was independent of familiarity.