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Colour language and colour cognition: Brown and Lenneberg revisited

Agrillo, C and Roberson, D (2009) 'Colour language and colour cognition: Brown and Lenneberg revisited.' Visual Cognition, 17 (3). pp. 412-430. ISSN 1350-6285

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We report two experiments that revisit the question raised by Brown and Lenneberg (1954) concerning the degree to which colours that are easier to name are also easier to communicate and to remember. Much subsequent research has suggested that such effects depend on context and task demands. In the present experiments communication accuracy and recognition memory were compared, varying the distractor array for items that are either best examples (focal) of the eight basic chromatic categories named in English, or peripheral (nonfocal) examples of them. Focal targets were communicated faster, more accurately, and with fewer words than nonfocal targets, irrespective of array. However, they were not recognized more accurately under all conditions. With a randomized array of distractors, more akin to real scenes outside the lab, there was no recognition advantage for those colours that are easiest to code and communicate. We conclude that focal colours are not inherently more memorable.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2011 09:52
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 01:04

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