ABSTRACT The present study examines similarities and differences in the processing of drawings and their corresponding names. For this purpose, students were asked to determine as fast as possible the identicalness of two pictures as opposed to the identicalness of their written Hebrew names. Twenty-eight Hebrew native speakers from the fifth grade participated in the experiment. Findings suggest that the human information processing system optimizes the processing of information (words, drawings, etc.) according to specific task requirements or task constraints. Stimulus type per se does not seem to determine the depth of its processing, nor does it seem to directly trigger particular modalities of encoding (perceptual, linguistic, semantic). Finally, the findings warrant the conclusion that superiority effects related to the processing of written words and pictorial stimuli reflect artifacts of task requirements rather than inherent characteristics of stimuli.
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