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Does the "Why" Tell Us the "When"?

Bechlivanidis, C; Lagnado, DA; (2013) Does the "Why" Tell Us the "When"? Psychol Sci , 24 (8) pp. 1563-1572. 10.1177/0956797613476046. Green open access

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Abstract

Traditional approaches to human causal reasoning assume that the perception of temporal order informs judgments of causal structure. In this article, we present two experiments in which people followed the opposite inferential route: Perceptual judgments of temporal order were instead influenced by causal beliefs. By letting participants freely interact with a software-based "physics world," we induced stable causal beliefs that subsequently determined participants' reported temporal order of events, even when this led to a reversal of the objective temporal order. We argue that for short timescales, even when temporal-resolution capabilities suffice, the perception of temporal order is distorted to fit existing causal beliefs.

Type: Article
Title: Does the "Why" Tell Us the "When"?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0956797613476046
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797613476046
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2013. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page(http://www.uk.sagepub.com/aboutus/openaccess.htm).
Keywords: causal judgment, causality, perception, temporal order, time
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1398283
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