Colour category effects

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This chapter provides an overview of recent experiments (Hanley and Roberson 2011; Wright 2012) investigating asymmetries in performance of two kinds of task, two-alternative forced choice (2-AFC) and visual search. Previous research has reported colour category effects in performance of both tasks and suggests such category effects can be interpreted as evidence of a Whorfian effect. Two key questions addressed here are: first, whether asymmetries in performance of 2-AFC and visual search tasks might also represent a Whorfian effect, and second, whether asymmetries in the two tasks can be accommodated within a framework that implies Whorfian effects in the domain of colour depend critically on on-line stimulus categorization. In addition to interpretations that offer affirmative answers to these questions, alternative interpretations are considered.


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