Semantic congruity effects (SCEs) were obtained in each of two experiments, one with symbolic comparisons and the other with comparisons of visual extents. SCEs were reliably larger when the instructions indicating the direction of the comparison were represented by consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) nonsense syllables, which had been associated with the conventional instructions in a preliminary learning phase of the experiment. Enhanced SCEs with the CVC instructions were evident, especially when stimulus pair location and instruction direction did not match. This finding is not readily explained by any non-evidence-accrual theories of the SCE (e.g., expectancy, semantic coding, and reference point) or by their accrual-based extensions. On the other hand, the general class of evidence-accrual views of SCEs, such as those developed in Leth-Steensen and Marley (2000) and in Petrusic (1992), receive considerable empirical support when the locus of the SCE is specified in terms of the congruency of stimulus pair location and the direction of the instruction. Copyright 2008 Psychonomic Society, Inc.
Perception and Psychophysics
Department of Psychology

Petrusic, W.M. (William M.), Shaki, S. (Samuel), & Leth-Steensen, C. (2008). Remembered instructions with symbolic and perceptual comparisons. Perception and Psychophysics, 70(2), 179–189. doi:10.3758/PP.70.2.179