The more the better or more is better? Set size effect on comparative judgments on homogeneus nonsocial stimuli

Szkoła Wyższa Psychologii Społecznej
Studia Psychologiczne 2015;53(1):63–75
Publication date: 2016-02-23
The set size effect in the area of direct-comparative judgments hasn’t gained much research interest, yet. This effect shows that the more elements constitute standard of comparison the larger is the comparative bias. In an experiment performed on a computer, it wast tested whether range of set size effect might be changed while applying stimuli of low variability in appearance and attractiveness. Participants (N = 298, Polish undergraduates) assessed attractive pictures presenting butterflies using a 5 × 5 matrix. On each trial one of the items was randomly designated as a target, which was compared to a randomly selected referent consisting of two, four, eight, 16 or 24 items. Results show that the set size effect on homogenous stimuli is greatly reduced, and that the most probable strategy underlying comparisons is: “pick the best”.
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