Psychophysical power functions for apparent area in perceptive, memory, and inference conditions for observers of different age groups

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Alliprandini, PMZ
daSilva, J. A.

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Perceptual Motor Skills


The purpose of this research was to verify the effect of age on the exponent of the power function in Perceptive, Memory, and Inference experimental conditions. In the Memory condition the intervals of 2 min., 8, 24, and 48 hr. and 1 wk. were used between acquisition of information and remembering. For each experimental condition the ages of observers ranged between 17 and 35 years (Group I), 40-55 years (Group II), and 60-77 years (Group III), and education ranged from high school to graduate school. The observers estimated the areas of the Brazilian states using the psychophysical method of magnitude estimation. No significant differences were obtained for Groups I, II, and III for each experimental condition, except in the Memory Condition with the 24-hr. interval. Analysis for experimental conditions and ages showed a significant difference between the Perceptive Condition and each of the others, but no difference between the Inference and Memory Conditions. These results indicated that in the remembering processes there is no loss of information as a function of age. From the small variability in the power function exponents for the three ages, we may assume that age could be related to amount of education of the observers, which suggests study is important.



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Perceptual and Motor Skills. Missoula: Perceptual Motor Skills, v. 91, n. 3, p. 783-788, 2000.