Abstract

Cross-cultural comparisons of color perception and cognition often feature versions of the “similarity sorting” procedure. By interpreting the assignment of two color samples to different groups as an indication that the dissimilarity between them exceeds some threshold, sorting data can be regarded as low-resolution similarity judgments. Here we analyze sorting data from speakers of Italian, Russian, and English, applying multidimensional scaling to delineate the boundaries between perceptual categories while highlighting differences between the three populations. Stimuli were 55 color swatches, predominantly from the blue region. Results suggest that at least two Italian words for “blue” are basic, a similar situation to Russian, in contrast to English where a single “blue” term is basic.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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