After considering the pervasiveness of same/different relationships in Psychology and the experimental evidence of their perceptual foundation in Psychophysics and Infant and Comparative Psychology, this paper develops its main argument. Similarity and diversity do not complete the panorama since opposition constitutes a third relationship which is distinct from the other two. There is evidence of this in the previous literature investigating the perceptual basis of opposition and in the results of the two new studies presented in this paper. In these studies, the participants were asked to indicate to what extent pairs of simple bi-dimensional figures appeared to be similar, different or opposite to each other. A rating task was used in Study 1 and a pair comparison task was used in Study 2. Three main results consistently emerged: Firstly, opposition is distinct from similarity and difference which, conversely, are in a strictly inverse relationship. Secondly, opposition is specifically linked to something which points in an allocentrically opposite direction. Thirdly, alterations to the shape of an object are usually associated with the perception of diversity rather than opposition. The implications of a shift from a dyadic (same/different) to a triadic (similar/different/opposite) paradigm are discussed in the final section.

The Perception of Similarity, Difference and Opposition

Bianchi, Ivana;Burro, Roberto
2023-01-01

Abstract

After considering the pervasiveness of same/different relationships in Psychology and the experimental evidence of their perceptual foundation in Psychophysics and Infant and Comparative Psychology, this paper develops its main argument. Similarity and diversity do not complete the panorama since opposition constitutes a third relationship which is distinct from the other two. There is evidence of this in the previous literature investigating the perceptual basis of opposition and in the results of the two new studies presented in this paper. In these studies, the participants were asked to indicate to what extent pairs of simple bi-dimensional figures appeared to be similar, different or opposite to each other. A rating task was used in Study 1 and a pair comparison task was used in Study 2. Three main results consistently emerged: Firstly, opposition is distinct from similarity and difference which, conversely, are in a strictly inverse relationship. Secondly, opposition is specifically linked to something which points in an allocentrically opposite direction. Thirdly, alterations to the shape of an object are usually associated with the perception of diversity rather than opposition. The implications of a shift from a dyadic (same/different) to a triadic (similar/different/opposite) paradigm are discussed in the final section.
2023
same–different; opposition; diversity; similarity; perceptually grounded relationships
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1102926
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