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Consistent and varied training in the theory of automatic and controlled information processing.
Cognition, 23, 279-284.
Year of publication:
The theory of automatic and controlled information processing assigns a central role to the distinction between consistent and varied stimulus-response mapping. The present note shows that this distinction cannot be made without specification of what is to count as a unit in describing stimulus events. In any rule- governed task, including what is called varied-mapping visual search, there is a description of stimulus events that is consistently mapped on to responses. It follows that results are concerned not with the importance of consistency per se, but with a specification of the important level of stimulus description for particular tasks. Published work shows directly that not all forms of consistent mapping lead to automatic processing. Attempts to generalise this work should be concerned with the issue of which forms of consistency are effective.