Topics: Face, Faces, Face perception Pages: 9 (2711 words) Published: August 11, 2013
Acta Psychologica North-Holland

64 (1987) 93-100




Andrew W. YOUNG, and Dennis C. HAY LancasterUniversity, UK
Accepted November 1985

Photographs of familiar faces and printed names of familiar people were combined to create four experimental conditions. These involved presentation of a face and the same person’s name, presentation of a face or a name only, presentation of a face and the name of an unrelated person drawn from a different occupational category, and presentation of a face and the name of a different person drawn from the same occupational category. Subjects were asked to name the faces or to name the printed names. The presence of faces had no effect on naming of the printed names, but the presence of incorrect printed names interfered with face naming. This interference effect was greater to names drawn from the same occupational category as the presented face. These interference effects are comparable to those found between pictures of objects and printed object names, with photographs of faces behaving like pictures of objects.

Introduction Picture-word interference forms a variant of the Stroop paradigm in which the presence of distractor words (usually object names) interferes with latencies for naming pictured objects, whereas the presence of distractor objects has little effect on latencies for naming printed words (Rosinski et al. 1975). Exploration of such interference effects has the potential to allow investigation of, and comparison between, the nature of processes involved in object and word recognition. The finer structure of picture-word interference effects has been investigated in a number of studies (e.g., Glaser and Diingelhoff 1984; * This research was supported by a grant from Lancaster University’s Research Grant Fund. We are grateful to the Press Association for help in obtaining suitable photographs for use as stimuli, and for permission to reproduce the photographs used in fig. 1. Requests for reprints should be sent to A.W. Young, Psychology Dept., Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YF, England.


0 1987, Elsevier Science Publishers

B.V. (North-Holland)


A. W. Youq

et d. / Fuce nunung

Lupker and Katz 1981; Rayner and Posnansky 1978; Rosinski 1977; Smith and Magee 1980) and reviewed by Lupker (1985). However, the studies of picture-word interference have always used comparisons of printed words and line drawings of objects. In the present study we investigated whether or not the same types of interference effect would be found between photographs of faces and printed people’s names. Thus we distinguish object-word and face-name variants of the picture-word interference paradigm, and ask whether equivalent interference effects will be found in each case. It is not clear on a priori grounds whether or not faceename interference effects should be like object-word interference effects. The names that have to be given to objects may be ambiguous or may depend on the level of categorisation, whereas a face belongs to a particular person and hence possesses a single correct name that is often used. However, Hay and Young (1982), Ellis (1983, 1986). Young et al. (1986), and Bruce and Young (1986) have all proposed that names belonging to seen faces can only be accessed via an intervening semantic representation of the person seen, and a similar sequence is thought to hold in the case of object naming (Nelson et al. 1977; Seymour 1979; Warren and Morton 1982). In some other respects, faces might also be held to be potentially different from everyday objects. Identifying a person’s face, for instance, demands the ability to discriminate within a class of highly similar stimuli, whereas when we recognise everyday objects we often want to assign stimuli that might actually be rather different to each other to an equivalent functional category. Rosch (1978) and Rosch et...
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