Verbal factors modifying similarity judgements
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The cognitive processing of sensory information, as exemplified by the judgement of subjective similarity, is discussed in relation to studies of verbal mediation and studies concerned with the role of language in cognition. Five experiments are reported which investigate the effects of pairing labels with stimuli, on the judgement of stimulus similarity. The labels produced small but consistent shifts in stimulus similarity judgements which were shown to be related to the similarity of the labels used. Much of the data were found to be consistent with a trace decay model; there was no evidence that the labels increased the underlying dimensionality of the task. The strategy by which subjects integrated the information present in the stimuli and their accompanying labels appeared to follow an averaging formulation.