Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Rotation of the letter R :: Essays Papers
Rotation of the letter "R" Psychologists have been interested in the processes that go on in the mind for centuries. However, a new method for assessing the various processes emerged in the 1970's. Several researchers predicted that mental imagery was treated by the brain similarly to actions performed on physical objects. Thus, performance in tasks involving inspection, rotation, and comparison of mental images according to size should be similar to results obtained using actual objects. Kosslyn, Ball, and Reiser (1978) asked participants to scan a mental map after studying a map of an island with several landmarks. They predicted that the further the distance between the landmarks, the longer it would take participants to scan from one to the next, whether using the actual map or a mental image created by intensive study. Their hypothesis was supported by their results. The closer positions took less time to locate on the participant' mental maps than the more distant places. In 1973, Cooper and Shepard asked participants to perform a mental rotation task. They gave the participants an image, and asked them to rotate it mentally by a certain angle, and then match the rotated image with one of several choices. Their prediction was that the greater the angle of rotation, the longer the task would take. This was because it would take longer to physically rotate a figure more degrees than fewer degrees. The evidence supported this hypothesis: The closer the angle is to 180 degrees, the longer the reaction time. Angles greater than 180 degrees do not take longer because the subject will rotate it in the other direction. So the angle distance from 180 degrees, called the angle of disparity, is directly related to the reaction time. The experiment done by the class involves looking at the letter "R" on a computer screen, and determining whether it is forward or reverse. The "R" is rotated at varying degrees, and participants must mentally rotate the "R" in order to determine whether it is forward or reversed. A forward "R" is the letter "R" in its usual orientation. The reversed "R" is backwards from its usual position. There were several predictions made by the class before the experiment was run. The highest reaction time was predicted to be at the 180 degrees condition, with the lowest reaction time at 0 degrees, increasing in both directions toward 180 degrees. Also, the average reversed-figure reaction time was expected to be higher than the average normal time.