The redundant signals effect, or redundancy gain, is an increase in human processing efficiency when target redundancy is introduced into a display. An advantage for two visual signals over one has been found in a wide variety of speeded response time tasks, but does not always occur and may be weakened by some task parameters. These disparate results suggest that visual redundancy gain is not a unitary effect, but is instead based on different underlying mechanisms in different tasks. The current study synthesizes previous theories applied to redundancy gain into the three-conditions hypothesis, which states that visual redundancy gain depends on the presence of at least one of three factors: visual identicalness between multiple targets, familiarity with multiple similar targets, or prepotentiation for multiple different targets. In a series of four simple response time experiments, participants responded to single targets presented to one side of the visual field, or to bilateral targets presented to both sides of the visual field. The first three experiments each explored one condition, the first experiment by comparing identical to non-identical random shapes to examine visual identicalness, the second by comparing familiar to unfamiliar letters to examine familiarity, and the third by comparing previewed with non-previewed random shapes to examine prepotentiation. Finally, the fourth experiment employed letters that varied in familiarity, identicalness, and preview, to examine whether or not the three hypothesized causes have multiplicative effects on redundancy. Results indicated that participants were able to benefit equally from redundancy regardless of identicalness, familiarity, or prepotentiation, but that they did so by ignoring one target in the redundant-target trials. These results suggest that redundancy gain may need to be even further divided into more than three underlying mechanisms, with a serial processing mechanism that can be used for stimuli that are not familiar, prepotentiated, or identical.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Psychology; Human Factors Cognitive Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Mishler, Ada, "Do multiple conditions elicit the visual redundant signals effect in simple response times?" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 5717.