Field dependence and stimulus complexity in a figure copying task

Carol A. Coté, Angela M. O'Donnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Field dependence is often associated with studies of cognitive style from Wilkin's laboratory but Piaget also considered the concept a fundamental factor in the development of visuoperceptual analysis. Assessment has traditionally relied on two measures, the Rod-and-Frame Test and the Embedded Figures Test. A new task was developed, based on the Rod-and-Frame Test, in which a target stimulus is drawn within a misleading frame. Misleading frames significantly influenced the orientation of drawings created by 36 kindergartners in Exp. 1, and the drawing of more complex stimulus figures was influenced by the frames for a group of 65 adults in Exp. 2. Field-dependent behavior is related to the complexity of the task and to age. The correlation of scores on the Embedded Figures Test with performance on this task was low for both groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1159-1170
Number of pages12
JournalPerceptual and motor skills
Issue number3 II SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Dec 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems


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