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    Images of objects are interpreted as symbols: a case study of automatic size measurement

    Brody, G. and Revencu, B. and Csibra, Gergely (2022) Images of objects are interpreted as symbols: a case study of automatic size measurement. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General , ISSN 0096-3445.

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    Are photographs of objects presented on a screen in an experimental context treated as the objects them- selves or are they interpreted as symbols standing for objects? We addressed this question by investigating the size Stroop effect—the finding that people take longer to judge the relative size of two pictures when the real-world size of the depicted objects is incongruent with their display size. In Experiment 1, we repli- cated the size Stroop effect with new stimuli pairs (e.g., a zebra and a watermelon). In Experiment 2, we replaced the large objects in Experiment 1 with small toy objects that usually stand for them (e.g., a toy ze- bra), and found that the Stroop effect was driven by what the toys stood for, not by the toys themselves. In Experiment 3, we showed that the association between an image of a toy and the object the toy typically stands for is not automatic: when toys were pitted against the objects they typically represent (e.g., a toy zebra vs. a zebra), images of toys were interpreted as representations of small objects, unlike in Experiment 2. We argue that participants interpret images as discourse-bound symbols and automatically compute what the images stand for in the discourse context of the experimental situation.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Gergo Csibra
    Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2022 10:48
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:19


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