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Alphabetic letter identification: Effects of perceivability, similarity, and bias

Shane T Mueller, Christoph Weidemann

Acta Psychologica, Volume: 139, Issue: 1, Pages: 19 - 37

Swansea University Author: Christoph Weidemann

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Abstract

The legibility of the letters in the Latin alphabet has been measured numerous times since the beginning of experimental psychology. To identify the theoretical mechanisms attributed to letter identification, we report a comprehensive review of literature, spanning more than a century. This review r...

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Published in: Acta Psychologica
ISSN: 0001-6918
Published: 2012
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa6934
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Abstract: The legibility of the letters in the Latin alphabet has been measured numerous times since the beginning of experimental psychology. To identify the theoretical mechanisms attributed to letter identification, we report a comprehensive review of literature, spanning more than a century. This review revealed that identification accuracy has frequently been attributed to a subset of three common sources: perceivability, bias, and similarity. However, simultaneous estimates of these values have rarely (if ever) been performed. We present the results of two new experiments which allow for the simultaneous estimation of these factors, and examine how the shape of a visual mask impacts each of them, as inferred through a new statistical model. Results showed that the shape and identity of the mask impacted the inferred perceivability, bias, and similarity space of a letter set, but that there were aspects of similarity that were robust to the choice of mask. The results illustrate how the psychological concepts of perceivability, bias, and similarity can be estimated simultaneously, and how each make powerful contributions to visual letter identification.
College: College of Human and Health Sciences
Issue: 1
Start Page: 19
End Page: 37