Spatial cognition, mental rotation, complex backgrounds, clutter, familiarity, training, virtual environments, augmented reality, practice
This dissertation investigated the effects of complex backgrounds on mental rotation. Stimulus familiarity and background familiarity were manipulated. It systematically explored how familiarizing participants to objects and complex backgrounds affects their performance on a mental rotation task involving complex backgrounds. This study had 113 participants recruited through the UCF Psychology SONA system. Participants were familiarized with a stimulus in a task where they were told to distinguish the stimulus from 3 other stimuli. A similar procedure was used to familiarize the backgrounds. The research design was a 2 stimulus familiarity (Familiarized with the Target Stimulus, not familiarized with the Target Stimulus) by 2 background familiarity (Familiarized with Target Background, not familiarized with Target Background 1) by 2 stimulus response condition (Target Stimulus, Non-Target Stimulus) by 3 background response condition (Target Background, Non-Target Background, Blank Background) by 12 degree of rotation (0, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, 180, 210, 240, 270, 300, 330) mixed design. The study utilized target stimulus and target background familiarity conditions as the between-subjects variables. Background, stimulus, and degree of rotation were within-subjects variables. The participants' performance was measured using reaction time and percent of errors. Reaction time was computed using only the correct responses. After the familiarization task, participants engaged in a mental rotation task featuring stimuli and backgrounds that were present or not present in the familiarization task. A 2 (stimulus familiarization condition) by 2 (background familiarization condition) by 2 (stimulus response condition) by 3 (background response condition) by 12 (degree of rotation) mixed ANOVA was computed utilizing reaction time and percent of errors. Results suggest that familiarity with the Target Background had the largest effect on improving performance across response conditions. The results also suggest that familiarity with both the Target Stimulus and Target Background promoted inefficient mental rotation strategies which resulted in no significant differences between participants familiarized with neither the Target Stimulus nor the Target Background. Theoretical conclusions are drawn about stimulus familiarity and background familiarity. Future studies should investigate the effects of long term familiarity practice on mental rotation and complex backgrounds.
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Sims, Valerie K.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Psychology; Human Factors Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Selkowitz, Anthony, "Mental Rotation: Can Familiarity Alleviate the Effects of Complex Backgrounds?" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 1472.