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Mapping conceptual to spatial relations in visual reasoning

Gattis, Merideth Leigh ORCID: and Holyoak, K. J. 1996. Mapping conceptual to spatial relations in visual reasoning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 22 (1) , pp. 231-239. 10.1037/0278-7393.22.1.231

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In 3 experiments, the authors investigated the impact of goals and perceptual relations on graph interpretation when people evaluate functional dependencies between continuous variables. Participants made inferences about the relative rate of 2 continuous linear variables (altitude and temperature). The authors varied the assignments of variables to axes, the perceived cause-effect relation between the variables, and the causal status of the variable being queried. The most striking finding was that accuracy was greater when the slope-mapping constraint was honored, which requires that the variable being queried be assigned to the vertical axis, so that steeper lines map to faster changes in the queried variable. The authors propose that graphs provide external instantiations of intermediate mental representations, enabling people to move from visuospatial representations to abstractions through the use of natural mappings between perceptual and conceptual relations.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: American Psychological Association
ISSN: 0278-7393
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 08:59

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