Framing pictures: The role of knowledge in automatized encoding and memory for gist

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Discusses general properties of frame theories and their implications for psychological processes. An experiment that determined whether this approach yields predictions about how people comprehend and remember pictures of real-world scenes is presented. Normative ratings were used to construct 6 target pictures containing both expected and unexpected objects. Eye movements were then recorded as college student Ss who anticipated a difficult recognition test viewed the targets for 30 sec each. Ss were asked to discriminate the target pictures from distractors in which either expected or unexpected objects had been changed. Results show that first fixations to the unexpected objects were approximately twice as long as first fixations to the expected objects. On the recognition test, Ss generally noticed only the changes that had been made to the unexpected objects, despite the fact that the proportions of correct rejections were made conditional on whether the target objects had been fixated. These data are consistent with the idea that local visual details of objects represented in the frame are not necessary for identification and are thus not generally encoded. It is concluded that if 2 events instantiate the same frame, they may often be indistinguishable if any differences between them are represented as arguments in the frame. (3¼ p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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