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Why is accurately labelling simple magnitudes so hard?


Donkin, C and Rae, B and Heathcote, A and Brown, SD, Why is accurately labelling simple magnitudes so hard?, Oxford Handbook of Computational and Mathematical Psychology, Oxford University Press, JR Busemeyer, JT Townsend, Z J Wang, & A Eidels (ed), Oxford, pp. 1-32. ISBN 978-0-19-995799-6 (2015) [Other Book Chapter]

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Absolute identi cation is a deceptively simple task that has been the focus of empirical investigation and theoretical speculation for more than half a century. Observers are shown a set of N stimuli varying on a single dimension (e.g., length or loudness) and each stimulus is given a label (e.g.,1; ::;N). They then attempt to identify stimuli presented one at at time by producing the associated label. Since Miller's (1956) seminal paper the puzzle of why people are severely limited in their capacity to accurately perform absolute identi cation has endured. Despite the apparent simplicity of absolute identi cation, many complicated and robust e ects are observed in both response latency and accuracy, including capacity limitations, strong sequential e ects and e ects of the position of a stimulus within the set. Constructing a comprehensive theoretical account of these benchmark effects has proven difficult, and existing accounts all have shortcomings in one way or another. We review classical empirical ndings, as well as some newer fi ndings that challenge existing theories. We then discuss a variety of theories, with a focus on the most recent proposals, make some broad conclusions about general classes of models, and discuss the challenges ahead for each class.

Item Details

Item Type:Other Book Chapter
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Cognitive and computational psychology
Research Field:Decision making
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Heathcote, A (Professor Andrew Heathcote)
ID Code:98967
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2015-03-10
Last Modified:2015-05-11

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