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What you see and what you are told: feedback does not diminish Action-Specific Perception




King, Zachary R., author
Witt, Jessica, advisor
Wickens, Chris, committee member
Browning, Ray, committee member
Clegg, Ben, committee member

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The action-specific perception account claims that ability to act causes differences in perception of task relevant stimuli. Critics argue that a response bias occurs, not a difference in perception. Feedback has empirical support for affecting response biases and distinguishing between response biases and perceptual biases. Feedback was given during an action-specific perception paradigm to determine how much of the action-specific effect could be explained by response biases. Participants played a computer-based game of tennis. The ball moved across the screen at various speeds between the two anchor speeds on which they were previously trained. Ability to act was manipulated by varying the size of the paddle used to block the ball. After each blocking attempt, participants performed a speed judgment task. Participants typically report the ball as moving faster when using a small paddle than when they use a big paddle. In Experiment 1, participants completed pre-feedback, feedback, and post-feedback phases with interleaved paddle sizes. Paddle size had a significant effect on speed judgments in all three phases and did not diminish when feedback was given. It is possible that participants did not receive enough feedback and so in experiment 2 participants received feedback during the entire experiment. Again, feedback did not eliminate the effect of paddle size on speed judgments. Experiment 3 examined how much of the difference in reported speeds could be explained by response biases. False feedback was used to create a response bias opposing the effect of paddle size on speed. A multilevel linear regression suggests that while both feedback and action ability affects reported speed, in the final model there is no significant interaction between these variables. Results support the claim that action affects perception and is evidence against a primarily response bias account of action-specific effects.


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