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APAFINALPAPER - The Effect of Similarity 1 Running head THE...

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The Effect of Similarity 1 Running head: THE EFFECT OF SIMILARITY The Effect of Similarity on Reaction Time and Error Rates by College Students Stephanie Leath Wayne State University Department of Psychology
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The Effect of Similarity 2 Abstract The theory feature analysis of object recognition investigated how two-dimensional objects are processed in the brain through feature discrimination. A group of 42 participants, 12 males and 30 females, were tested using a feature analysis program to analyze speed and accuracy when determining if letter pairs were similar or different, using several different examples, such as: EF, CG, or AL. The results showed a significant difference in letter pairs that were similar and letter pairs that were different. The reaction time for similar letter pairs was significantly slower with more errors than for different letter pairs. The findings of this experiment showed that people have a more difficult time distinguishing between two objects that are similar than two different objects.
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The Effect of Similarity 3 The Effect of Similarity on Reaction Time and Error Rates by College Students Many theories, over time, have been used to describe object recognition and the way information is processed in the mind. Template Matching Theory was the earliest theory of object recognition, which stated that in order to recognize objects, a specific store of images existed in the mind and were compared to each new image that was encountered. A problem with this theory was that it would take millions of stored templates in order to recognize one letter, such as C, in all specific forms it can take. The letter C can be lower case or in different orientations that may not match the original stored template. This would make it nearly impossible to fathom having room in the brain for enough stored templates to accommodate every possible character in every possible shape and orientation that has ever been seen. Another theory was developed called the Prototype Theory, which expanded on the ideas of the Template Matching Theory. This newer theory also included that there was a store of specific images that categorized new images into those stored ones. For example, a person would see an image of a cat, and compare that image to the prototype that they have stored, in order to recognize the image as a cat, and not a dog. The theory has fundamental issues, such as, seeing various different types of animals that resemble a cat. An example may be another animal such as a raccoon, which also had two eyes, two pointed ears, four legs and a long tail. Everything about the description matches the prototype of a cat, however, it is a raccoon, part of a different family of animals entirely. This theory left too much room for error; thus, a more accurate and more refined theory was developed and called the Feature Analysis Theory.
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