Does global precedence reality depend on visual angle?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Global advantage has been found in some studies to hold only in stimuli subtending no more than 7-20| of visual angle. It is argued here that those studies confounded globality and eccentricity. To avoid this confound, the present 2 studies used stimuli with all their elements located along their perimeter. These were presented in 2 visual angle conditions, small (2|) and large (17.25|). In Exp I, 24 undergraduates had to indicate either the direction of an opening of a C made up of circles or of Cs that were the elements of a circle. Contrary to previous findings, global advantage was found for both large and small visual angle conditions. Results from a control condition indicate that the major determinant of that global advantage was relative size. In Exp II, 12 undergraduates responded to the global or local levels of right- or left-facing Cs made up of right- or left-facing Cs. For the small visual angle condition, the global level interfered with processing of the local level, but not vice versa. For the large visual angle, however, interference effects were smaller and symmetrical, even though a sizable difference in mean RT was observed between the responses to the local and global levels. It is suggested that the time it takes to respond to a level when relevant and the level's effectiveness as a distractor when irrelevant are determined at 2 different stages of processing. (20 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-965
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1983


  • visual angle, global advantage, college students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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