Authors: Wühr, Peter
Seegelke, Christian
Title: Compatibility between physical stimulus size and left-right responses
Other Titles: small is left and large is right
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: According to a theory of magnitude (ATOM, Walsh, 2003, 2015), the cognitive representations of quantity, time, and space share a general magnitude code. Interestingly though, research has largely ignored the relationship between physical (stimulus) size and spatial (response) location. We conducted two experiments investigating compatibility effects between physical stimulus size and left-right responses. In both experiments, right-handed participants responded to a small or a large square stimulus by pressing a left or a right key. In Experiment 1, size was the relevant stimulus feature and we varied the S-R mapping within participants. Results revealed a strong compatibility effect: Performance was better with the compatible mapping (small-left and large-right) than with the incompatible mapping (large-left and small-right). In Experiment 2, participants responded to stimulus color, which varied independently of stimulus size, by pressing a left or right key. Results showed a congruency effect that mirrored the compatibility effect of Experiment 1. The results of our experiments suggest a strong relationship between the cognitive representation of physical (stimulus) size and response location in right-handers. The findings support the notion of a general magnitude code, as proposed in ATOM.
Subject Headings: ATOM
Stimulus size
Response position
Issue Date: 2018-02-27
Appears in Collections:Institut für Psychologie

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