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Publication Summary and Abstract

Tom Stafford and Kevin N. Gurney (2011), Additive factors do not imply discrete processing stages: a worked example using models of the Stroop task, Frontiers in Psychology, 2:287.

Previously, it has been shown experimentally that the psychophysical law known as Piéron’s Law holds for color intensity and that the size of the effect is additive with that of Stroop condition (Stafford et al., 2011). According to the additive factors method (Donders, 1868–1869/1969; Sternberg, 1998), additivity is assumed to indicate independent and discrete processing stages. We present computational modeling work, using an existing Parallel Distributed Processing model of the Stroop task (Cohen et al., 1990) and a standard model of decision making (Ratcliff, 1978). This demonstrates that additive factors can be successfully accounted for by existing single stage models of the Stroop effect. Consequently, it is not valid to infer either discrete stages or separate loci of effects from additive factors. Further, our modeling work suggests that information binding may be a more important architectural property for producing additive factors than discrete stages.
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