Global and local perceptual style, field-independence, and central coherence: an attempt at concept validation
Faculty of Psychology, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw
Historically, the concepts of field-independence, closure flexibility, and weak central coherence have been used to denote a locally, rather globally, dominated perceptual style. To date, there has been little attempt to clarify the relationship between these constructs, or to examine the convergent validity of the various tasks purported to measure them. To address this, we administered 14 tasks that have been used to study visual perceptual styles to a group of 90 neuro-typical adults. The data were subjected to exploratory factor analysis. We found evidence for the existence of a narrowly defined weak central coherence (field-independence) factor that received loadings from only a few of the tasks used to operationalise this concept. This factor can most aptly be described as representing the ability to dis-embed a simple stimulus from a more complex array. The results suggest that future studies of perceptual styles should include tasks whose theoretical validity is empirically verified, as such validity cannot be established merely on the basis of a priori task analysis. Moreover, the use of multiple indices is required to capture the latent dimensions of perceptual styles reliably.
Central coherence , Perceptual style , Global/local perception , Field-independence , Closure flexibility , Visual perception , Factor analysis
Milne, E. and Szczerbinski, M. (2009) 'Global and local perceptual style, field-independence, and central coherence: an attempt at concept validation', Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 5(5), pp. 1-26. doi: 10.2478/v10053-008-0062-8.
© 2009, the Authors.