The perceptual interaction of graphical attributes: configurality, stimulus homogeneity, and object integration.

TitleThe perceptual interaction of graphical attributes: configurality, stimulus homogeneity, and object integration.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1990
JournalPerception & psychophysics
Volume47
Issue2
Pagination157-68
ISSN0031-5117
Abstract

Researchers have proposed that graphical efficacy may be determined, in part, by the nature of the perceptual interactions that exist between attributes used to create graphical displays. One extreme type of interaction is integrality, in which two or more physical dimensions are represented as a single psychological dimension in the observer. An alternative type of interaction is configurality, in which a global emergent dimension is available to the observer in addition to the component attributes. Thirteen stimulus sets, each composed of attributes commonly used in the design of graphs, were submitted to the performance-based diagnostics of integrality and configurality. Analyses suggest a continuum of configurality among the present stimulus sets, with little evidence for integral graphical attributes. The configural pattern of results was more common when two identical dimensions were paired (homogeneous stimuli) than when two different dimensions were paired (heterogeneous stimuli). However, there was no evidence that pairs of dimensions belonging to a single object (object integration) were any more configural than dimensions belonging to different objects. Object integration was, however, consistently related to inefficient performance in tasks requiring the filtering of one of two component dimensions.

Short TitlePercept Psychophys
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