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ERIC Number: EJ994054
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
Perceived Causalities of Physical Events Are Influenced by Social Cues
Zhou, Jifan; Huang, Xiang; Jin, Xinyi; Liang, Junying; Shui, Rende; Shen, Mowei
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v38 n6 p1465-1475 Dec 2012
In simple mechanical events, we can directly perceive causal interactions of the physical objects. Physical cues (especially spatiotemporal features of the display) are found to associate with causal perception. Here, we demonstrate that cues of a completely different domain--"social cues"--also impact the causal perception of "physical" events: The causally ambiguous events are more likely to be perceived as causal if the faces superimposed on the objects change from neutral to fearful. This effect has the following major properties: (a) The effect is caused by social information because it disappears when the faces are inverted or when the expression changes are unreasonable; (b) the social cues are integrated in a temporal window different from physical cues; and (c) the social cues impact the perception process rather than the decision process as the impact also appears in the causality-induced illusion. These findings suggest that the visual system relies on social information to infer the causal structure of the physical world. (Contains 6 figures and 4 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China