Heise N, Ansorge U, 2011, "The consistency effect—a bias effect?" Perception 40 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 95
The consistency effect—a bias effect?
N Heise, U Ansorge
We tested whether scene–object consistency effects (better identification of a visual object if it is consistent with a visual background scene than if it is inconsistent with that scene) reflected a bias for reporting consistent objects. We presented subjects with coloured photographs of natural scenes, with and without a scene-consistent target in it. After target-present and target-absent trials, the scene was repeated as a smaller picture with a location cue in it, and subjects had to decide from memory whether or not a target was shown at the cued position. If yes, subjects also had to name the target. In line with a bias, participants more frequently reported consistent than inconsistent objects in target-absent trials. In addition, linear regression showed that this bias in target-absent trials predicted the size of the consistency effect in target-present trials. We conclude that at least part of the consistency effect [Biederman et al, 1982 Cognitive Psychology 14(2) 143–177; Davenport, 2007 Memory & Cognition 35(3) 393–401] might not be related to perceptual processes but to sophisticated post-perceptual guessing (Henderson and Hollingworth, 1999 Annual Review of Psychology 50 243–271].
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