Individual Differences in Object Recognition
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AbstractThere is substantial evidence for individual differences in personality and cognitive abilities, but we lack clear intuitions about individual differences in visual abilities. Previous work on this topic has typically compared performance with only 2 categories, each measured with only 1 task. This approach is insufficient for demonstration of domain-general effects. Most previous work has used familiar object categories, for which experience may vary between participants and categories, thereby reducing correlations that would stem from a common factor. In Study 1, we adopted a latent variable approach to test for the first time whether there is a domain-general object recognition ability, o. We assessed whether shared variance between latent factors representing performance for each of 5 novel object categories could be accounted for by a single higher-order factor. On average, 89% of the variance of lower-order factors denoting performance on novel object categories could be accounted for by a higher-order factor, providing strong evidence for o. Moreover, o also accounted for a moderate proportion of variance in tests of familiar object recognition. In Study 2, we assessed whether the strong association across categories in object recognition is due to third-variable influences. We find that o has weak to moderate associations with a host of cognitive, perceptual, and personality constructs and that a clear majority of the variance in and covariance between performance on different categories is independent of fluid intelligence. This work provides the first demonstration of a reliable, specific, and domain-general object recognition ability, and suggest a rich framework for future work in this area.
All Author(s) ListRichler JJ, Tomarken AJ, Sunday MA, Vickery TJ, Ryan KF, Floyd RJ, Sheinberg D, Wong ACN, Gauthier I
Journal namePsychological Review
Volume Number126
Issue Number2
Pages226 - 251
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Keywordsvisual abilities, structural equation modeling, latent variable modeling, holistic processing, intelligence
Web of Science Subject CategoriesPsychology;Psychology, Multidisciplinary;Psychology

Last updated on 2021-21-01 at 02:06