Testing the role of vertical symmetry in letter matching

Howard E. Egeth, Hiram H. Brownell, Leo D. Geoffrion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Four experiments with a total of 54 young adults tested a recent suggestion that vertical symmetry of a stimulus display can serve as a visual diagnostic for responding "same" in a letter-matching task. The data of chief interest were same reaction times to vertically symmetric (e.g., AA) and asymmetric (e.g., LL) displays, each composed of 2 side-by-side uppercase letters. Overall, the data argue against Ss' use of vertical symmetry as a diagnostic in dealing with letter pairs. Results are interpreted within the context of recent work on symmetry. In particular, it is suggested that the importance of structural diagnostics in a matching task may be inversely related to the codability of the stimulus elements being compared. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-434
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 1976


  • importance of structural diagnostics, adults
  • vertically symmetric vs asymmetric letter pairs, RT in letter matching &

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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