Bartlett’s theory of visual reproduction revisited: Ambiguous face‐like stimuli do not necessarily lead to prototypical face schemata

Professorship/Faculty: General Psychology and Methodology  
Author(s): Carbon, Claus-Christian  ; Albrecht, Sabine
Editors: Gregory, Richard; Troscianko, Tom
Title of the Journal: Perception
Corporate Body: European Conference on Visual Perception, 33, 2010, Lausanne (Switzerland)
Publisher Information: London : Pion Ltd.
Year of publication: 2010
Issue: 39 (2010), S (ECVP Abstract Supplement)
Pages: 1 ; Illustrationen
Language(s): English
Licence: German Act on Copyright 
In 1932 Frederic Bartlett laid the foundation for the later Schema Theory. His findings considerably contributed to the understanding of how previous knowledge affects processing of visual stimuli. Empirical proof however is sparse and Bartlett’s results are hardly verifiable. We replicated Bartlett’s methods of ‘serial’ (Experiment 1, N=177) and ‘repeated reproduction’ (Experiment 2, N=53). In both experiments undergraduates inspected particular one of different sketches variing in the degree of faceness. After a delay of a minimum of 15 minutes participants were asked to reproduce their visual imageries. In Experiment 1 we rotated the produced sketches among participants and repeated the procedure five times. In Experiment 2 we asked them to reproduce their visual imageries after minimum weekly delays for five times. In two subsequent studies the participant’s sketches were evaluated in the degree of faceness on a 7-point Likert-scale. In contrast to Bartlett’s findings the sketches did not become more face-like the more often the reproduction process was performed, indicating more complex cognitive processes underlying the schema formation. For Experiment 1 we even obtained reversed effects with less face-likeness after a series of reproduction. Further research should vary influential factors such as creativity, drawing abilities and delays to get further insights into the formation of memory from visual inputs.
Keywords: Perceptual learning, Learning and memory, Face, Object, Schema theory
Document Type: Conferenceobject
Year of publication: 11. July 2014