Differential effects of familiarity on judgments of sameness and difference

Howard Egeth, David Blecker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ss indicated whether pairs of simultaneously presented objects were "same" or "different." In Experiments 1, 2, and 3 the stimuli were pairs of letters, and familiarity was manipulated by showing the letters in either an upright or an upside-down orientation. In Experiments 4 and 5 the stimuli were pairs of trigrams, and familiarity was manipulated either by rotation or by selection according to rated meaningfulness. Analysis of reaction times indicated that familiar pairs were responded to more quickly than were unfamiliar pairs; however, this was true only for "same" judgments, not for "different" judgments. In addition, Experiment 3 indicated that familiarity influenced discrimination accuracy under conditions of tachistoscopic exposure. Finally, in Experiment 6 an effort was made to disentangle the effects of meaningfulness from the effects of pronounceability. The present results stand in contrast to previous research using perceptual comparison tasks, since the earlier work failed to indicate any effect of familiarity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-326
Number of pages6
JournalPerception & Psychophysics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1971

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Psychology(all)

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