Perception and action effects on causal judgment

Abstract

Recent research suggests that perception and action affect performance on cognitive tasks (e.g., Beilock & Goldin-Meadow, 2010; Landy & Goldstone, 2007). Here we investigated perceptual and motor influences on causal judgment from contingency using a causal discounting paradigm (e.g., Goedert & Spellman, 2005). Participants learned about two potential causes of a common outcome on a trial by trial basis. We varied the left/right location of a target cause and the left/right location of the “yes” response button for predicting the cause would produce the outcome. When there was a mismatch between the target location and the “yes” response, participants discounted. However, they did not discount when the two locations matched. Thus, we observed more accurate causal judgment with spatial overlap in the perception and action information. These results are generally consistent with an embodied cognition framework; however, their exact mechanism remains to be explored.


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