The effect of study time on priming possible and impossible figures in the object decision test

John G. Seamon, Marisa Carrasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research demonstrated object decision priming for possible, but not impossible three-dimensional objects (e.g., Schacter et al. 1990; 1991). Subsequent research by Carrasco and Seamon (1996) found that when possible and impossible objects were equated for complexity, priming was observed for both object types. The present research extended the complexity results. Possible objects demonstrated object decision priming with greater classification accuracy for studied than nonstudied objects, following exposure durations of 900 ms to 30 s. The pattern for impossible objects was a function of their complexity. Highly complex impossible objects showed greater classification accuracy for nonstudied than studied objects, whereas moderately complex impossible objects showed no difference in classification accuracy, except following the longest duration where studied objects were classified more accurately than nonstudied objects. The conditions under which priming was observed for possible and impossible objects was discussed in terms of stimulus complexity and the ease of generating structural representations of the stimuli and the presence of a general response bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-813
Number of pages13
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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