Handbook of Research Methods in Human Memory and Cognition by C. Richard Puff

By C. Richard Puff

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Extra resources for Handbook of Research Methods in Human Memory and Cognition

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But symbols can be scanned faster w h e n they are arranged in regular lines rather than distributed at r a n d o m . A n e x p e r i m e n t that has yet to be tried is one in which symbols are p a t t e r n e d on a display in the form of t w o overlapping outlines, such as stylized " t r e e " or " h o u s e " s h a p e s . It is likely that normal young subjects would be able to separate shapes and use t h e m to guide and speed s e a r c h , since N e i s s e r and Becklen (1975) report a very striking e x p e r i m e n t in which t w o continuously moving scenarios w e r e videotaped and s u p e r i m p o s e d on the same display and subjects could efficiently follow either of t h e m as instructed, with little or no distraction from the other.

V I S U A L S E A R C H 37 m e a n that elderly people base their discriminations b e t w e e n target and b a c k g r o u n d sets on a larger, and therefore m o r e r e d u n d a n t , set of critical c u e s than d o the young. T h u s they are more perturbed w h e n transfer occurs. E x p e r i m e n t s by Prinz (1979) illustrate some limitations to the use of t h e s e training-transfer paradigms and, incidentally m a k e a similar theoretical point a b o u t the recognition of very familiar sets of symbols.

Subject-item interactions refer to the fact that, o v e r and a b o v e subject and item differences, specific items m a y be easier or h a r d e r for specific subjects. This will vary from subject 22 B E N N E T Β. M U R D O C K , JR. to subject and item to item (hence the term s u b j e c t - i t e m interactions) a n d , at the least, will be an added source of noise in the data. This would s e e m to be impossible to pin d o w n . In fact, there is a way of at least assessing the magnitude of these interactions, if only after the fact.

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