The global precedence effect in English and Korean native speakers with Roman, Korean Hangul and Thai compound letters
Winskel, H, Kim, TH, Cho, JR 2018, 'The global precedence effect in English and Korean native speakers with Roman, Korean Hangul and Thai compound letters', Acta Psychologica, vol. 187, pp. 30-36.
Published version available from:
The aim was to investigate whether native English speakers (Experiment 1) and native Korean speakers (Experiment 2) processed familiar letters in an analytic manner in comparison to unfamiliar letters or symbols. Participants performed a two-alternative-forced-choice identification task with Roman, Korean Hangul and Thai Navon compound letters (large letters made up of small letters). The English speakers were familiar with Roman script but not Korean or Thai, whereas the Korean speakers were familiar with Korean and Roman script but not Thai. The global precedence effect (GPE), an indication of holistic processing, is characterised by a global advantage (global processing is faster than local processing) and asymmetric congruence (global processing interferes with the processing of local features). Based on previous research, it was predicted that there would be a global precedence effect for unfamiliar but not familiar letters. Results from the English speakers did not support this prediction as we found a GPE for familiar Roman as well as unfamiliar Thai letters but not for unfamiliar Korean letters. In contrast, for the Korean speakers, we found support for the prediction as we found a GPE for Thai letters but not for familiar Korean and Roman letters. Based on this evidence, we propose that the Koreans are processing Korean and Roman letters in a more analytic manner than the English native speakers for Roman script. Due to the characteristics of Korean Hangul, Korean readers may be processing letters in a more analytic manner than the English readers.