Title

Effects Of Number And Strength Of Competing Solutions On The Perceptual Interference Effect

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-1-2001

Publication Title

Journal Of Experimental Psychology-human Perception And Performance

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Five-letter fragments of recently studied 1-letter words are easier to solve when presented all at once than when clarified from a more degraded form (i.e., by starting with a 2-letter fragment and adding letters). The competition explanation proposes that highly degraded stimuli activate alternative hypotheses that interfere with target identification. In Experiment 1, the number of solutions that fit the initial, 2-letter fragment was varied. Performance was better in the 2-solution than in the 1-solution condition. In Experiment 2, distracter solutions (solutions that fit the 2-letter fragment but not subsequent fragments) were either primed (previously studied) or unprimed. Solution performance was better when distracters were primed rather than unprimed. Perceptual interference appears to result from negative feedback operating on a prematurely activated correct hypothesis, rather than from competition between hypotheses.

Volume

27

Issue

1

pp.

22-31

ISSN

0096-1523