Parallel versus serial processes in multidimensional stimulus discrimination

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

207 Scopus citations


Although considerable effort has been devoted to the description of processes underlying discriminations along single dimensions, there have been few attempts to determine whether or how these elementary processes are combined when discrimination requires the consideration of more than one stimulus dimension. In the present experiment, Ss were required to indicate whether two simultaneously presented multidimensional visual stimuli were identical or different. The response measure was reaction time, and Ss had a monetary incentive to respond both quickly and accurately. It was concluded that the most appropriate model for this task is one that assumes that dimensions are compared serially, and that the order in which dimensions are compared varies from trial-to-trial. Further, when a pair differs along several dimensions, Ss do not necessarily examine every dimension before initiating the response "Different."

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-252
Number of pages8
JournalPerception & Psychophysics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1966
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Psychology(all)


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