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14-05-2018 | Original Article

How different direct association routes influence the indirect route in the same Simon-like task

Tijdschrift:
Psychological Research
Auteurs:
Chunming Luo, Robert W. Proctor

Abstract

The location-, word-, and arrow-based Simon effects are usually attributed to the result of a direct route (the spatially corresponding stimulus–response association, activated automatically) that interferes with an indirect route (the association of task-relevant information and response, activated in accordance with the instructed stimulus–response mapping). We examined whether and how distinct direct routes (stimulus-location–response position and location wordresponse position or arrow direction–response position associations) affect responding on the basis of the same indirect route (a stimulus color–response association) in a Simon-like task. For this task, left–right keypresses were made to indicate the ink colors of location words or left- or right-pointing arrows, presented eccentrically in left or right locations. The location-based Simon effect occurred at the levels of mean reaction time (RT) and RT distribution in the word Simon-like task, whereas the word-based Simon effect only occurred at the level of RT distribution. In the arrow Simon-like task, the location-based Simon effect did not occur at the level of mean RT, but did at the level of RT distribution, whereas the opposite pattern occurred for the arrow-based Simon effect. These results could imply that one direct route influences the effects of the other direct route on the responses, depending on the task context.

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