Physical similarity or numerical representation counts in same-different, numerical comparison, physical comparison, and priming tasks?
Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Taylor & Francis
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Zhang, L., Xin, Z., Feng, T., Chen, Y., & Szűcs, D. (2018). Physical similarity or numerical representation counts in same-different, numerical comparison, physical comparison, and priming tasks?. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71 (3), 670-687. https://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2016.1276944
Recent studies have highlighted the fact that some tasks used to study symbolic number representations are confounded by judgments about physical similarity. Here, we investigated whether the contribution of physical similarity and numerical representation differed in the often-used symbolic same-different, numerical comparison, physical comparison, and priming tasks. Experiment 1 showed that subjective physical similarity was the best predictor of participants' performance in the same-different task, regardless of simultaneous or sequential presentation. Furthermore, the contribution of subjective physical similarity was larger in a simultaneous presentation than in a sequential presentation. Experiment 2 showed that only numerical representation was involved in numerical comparison. Experiment 3 showed that both subjective physical similarity and numerical representation contributed to participants' physical comparison performance. Finally, only numerical representation contributed to participants' performance in a priming task as revealed by Experiment 4. Taken together, the contribution of physical similarity and numerical representation depends on task demands. Performance primarily seems to rely on numerical properties in tasks that require explicit quantitative comparison judgments (physical or numerical), while physical stimulus properties exert an effect in the same-different task.
Numerical comparison task, Numerical representation, Physical comparison task, Physical similarity, Priming task, Same–different task
This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [grant no. 31470996]; and Major Project of the National Social Science Foundation of China [grant no. 14ZDB160].
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2016.1276944
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/266502