Coren and Miller (1974) and Coren and Enns (1993) argued that the magnitude of the Ebbinghaus illusion is a function of the rated or conceptual similarity of the inducing objects to the test object. In three experiments, we examined the convergence between conceptual similarity and illusion magnitude. The first failed to find support for this parallel. Two further experiments yielded support for an alternative hypothesis that the magnitude of the Ebbinghaus illusion is a function of the similarity of the perimeters of the inducing object to the test object. The similarity of the centers had no effect. These results suggest that the information used to estimate size is computed earlier in the visual system than suggested by Coren and colleagues and apparently does not involve the use of conceptual information.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Sensory Systems