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Gillian Dale, Karen M. Arnell; An investigation of the reliability and relationships among global-local processing measures. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):149. doi: 10.1167/11.11.149.
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Global-local stimuli have been shown to be useful for examining a variety of different concepts, such as how human faces are processed (e.g. Hillger & Koenig), how affect can alter an individual's judgement of a stimulus (Fredrickson & Branigan, 2005), how dispositional global/local precedence can alter an individual's perception of time (Liberman & Förster, 2009), and how dispositional global/local precedence can affect the direction of selective attention (Dale & Arnell, 2010). Throughout the literature, multiple different versions of global-local stimuli have been used, such as traditional hierarchical letters and numbers (i.e. Navon letters), abstract hierarchical shapes, and high and low spatial frequency gratings. However, it is currently unclear how reliable or stable performance is on these measures within individuals over time, and whether these seemingly different measures are tapping into the same underlying process. This study sought to examine the reliability of, and relationships among, three distinct hierarchical measures previously used in research: standard Navon letters with a traditional interference task (e.g. Navon, 1977), hierarchical shapes with a paper-and-pencil free-choice task (e.g. Fredrickson & Branigan, 2005), and superimposed high and low-pass spatial frequency faces with a free-choice task (e.g. Deruelle et al., 2008). Fifty-five undergraduate participants completed all three global-local tasks, and returned 7–10 days later to again complete the same tasks. The degree of global-local bias within an individual was found to be highly reliable in the hierarchical shape task and the spatial frequency face task. Global interference in the Navon task was also reliable, although to a lesser degree. Interestingly, when the relationships among the three measures of global bias were examined, it was found that none of the measures significantly correlated with each other. Therefore, while these measures do appear to be reliable over time, they may be tapping into distinct aspects of global-local processing.
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