Ferragamo Sigma Xi 2

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1. Alys Ferragamo 2. Definition of an Ambiguous Figure An ambiguous figure is an image that has multiple possible interpretations For example, upon first glance at the image pictured below, one might see a vase but upon further examination the image of two people about to kiss may appear (or vice versa) After both interpretations have been observed the viewer might switch back and forth between the two 3. Prior Research Other scientists have shown that if the viewer is primed with contextual pictures it will influence their initial perception of the ambiguous figure Bugelski and Alampay (1961) found that if subjects were shown pictures of animals they were more likely to observe a rat in the rat/man figure and if they were shown people they were more likely to observe the man 4. Prior Research Scientists have also found that movement affects the perception of ambiguous figures If an ambiguous figure is moved horizontally then the observer assumes it is moving in the head direction (McBeath et. al., 1992; and Bernstein & Cooper, 1997) 5. Purpose and Hypothesis I designed my experiment to try to determine if multiple primes (picture context, movement and prior exposure to an ambiguous figure) would interfere or be additive I hypothesized that multiple primes would have an additive effect on the perception of an ambiguous figure. 6. Experimental Design Using an animated Microsoft PowerPoint display, I showed test subjects the two ambiguous animal figures embedded in ten other contextual animal pictures (5 context, then 1st ambiguous, 5 context, 2nd ambiguous) I chose to use rabbit/duck (Jastrow,1899) and swan/squirrel (Fisher, 1968) as my two ambiguous figures Then subjects were shown a set of instructions (pictured on next slide) 7. Instructions You will see pictures of animals. You will have 2 seconds to look at the picture and 10 seconds to answer. Write the name or type of animal you saw. Write one answer only in space provided (corresponding to the number on the screen). If you do not know the correct name you can just write the category of animal (i.e. bird, bug, mammal) E.g. if you see a trout but dont know the name write fish 8. This is an example of a context picture shown to test subjects. It is the same size as the pictures that were shown, however the rest of the slide would have been blank. 9. Context Pictures To limit unwanted variables I chose context figures that were: All black-and-white Same number were right vs. left facing Some were outlines and some were shaded Headshots and full-body images 10. Example of Context PicturesMammalsBirds Neutral 11. Experiments Conducted In order to test how picture context affected perception, I placed the two ambiguous figures within 10 other pictures of either all mammals, all neutral or all birds To test the movement prime I animated all the pictures to enter the screen moving face forward and then animated the ambiguous figure to move to the right so that the squirrel and rabbit were leading (and then repeated experiment with figures flipped to face/move leftward) Finally, I tested the effects of prior exposure to an ambiguous figure by observing the difference in how the second ambiguous figure was perceived as compared to the first one 12. Data The experiment was tested on 1,100 college- age subjects This provided 2,203 usable responses, as well as 33 blank or un-interpretable responses and 144 double responses (i.e. rabbit/duck) 13. The Initial StudyPercentages of responses of swan and squirrel in each of the three picture contexts (N = 179)The percentage of responses were significantly different in the three contexts(2 = 22.9, p