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Alligator or Squirrel: Musically Induced Fear Reveals Threat in Ambiguous Figures

Authors:

Abstract

Extant evidence has shown that fear can influence what we see. Fear can exaggerate threatening visual features or make them more salient. Here we show that fear can alter the meaning of what is seen. Three newly devised ambiguous figures that can be seen as benign or dangerous objects were presented for brief intervals. The majority of participants reported perceiving benign objects in a neutral control condition and in a condition in which happiness was induced; but, when fear was induced, the majority reported seeing dangerous objects. This suggests that fear can alter the meaning attributed to a visually perceived stimulus. In this study happiness and fear were induced using instrumental music, so the findings also suggest that sound can influence vision by influencing emotions.
Perception, 2012, volume 41, pages 0000 0000
doi:10.1068/p7290
SHORT AND SWEET
Alligator or squirrel: Musically induced fear reveals threat

Jesse Prinz1, Angelika Seidel1,2§
1 Department of Philosophy, City University of New York, Graduate Center, 356 Fifth Ave,
NewYo r k , N Y 1 0 01 6 , U S A ; e - m a i l : j e s s e @ s u b c o r t e x . c o m ; 2 Brooklyn College, City University
ofNew York
Received 14 May 2012, in revised form 3 September 2012
Abstract. 
   
    





Keywords: 
      
 
    


            


     
         
          






              
 
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 
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



2 J Prinz, A Seidel

       

            
        


 
           
             

  
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       
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       
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   
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
   



responses to an     
Figure 1.     



Musically induced fear reveals threat in ambiguous figures 3

 F-
|
        

e pe
rf
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

Fp  p
2
h


   M         
M   t p  h   M 
tp h
        
       
             
M 
M tp h
M tp h


 
 M  
    M   t p  h  
M tp h

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             


 

          

threateni


           




Method

and reported fear and nervousness
M = 
        happiness and calmness M 
     t p    

happy and
excite
d.

M 
      fear M    
tp 
           
           

Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima 
Morning Mood 
          
            
Musically induced fear reveals threat in ambiguous figures 5
   



Acknowledgments.              

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Applied Psychological Measurement 4 
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Vic ti ms o f Hi ros hi ma 
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
... (G) Positive words are seen as lighter than negative words (Meier et al. 2007). (H) Scary music makes ambiguous images take on their scarier interpretation (Prinz & Seidel 2012). (I) Smiling faces appear brighter (Song et al. 2012). ...
... For example, recent studies report that thinking negative thoughts makes the world look darker (Banerjee et al. 2012;Meier et al. 2007;Fig. 2G); fear and negative arousal make hills look steeper, heights look higher, and objects look closer (Cole et al. 2012;Harber et al. 2011;Riener et al. 2011;Stefanucci & Storbeck 2009; Firestone and Scholl: Cognition does not affect perception Stefanucci et al. 2012;Storbeck & Stefanucci 2014;Teachman et al. 2008); scary music makes ambiguous images (e.g., an ambiguous figure that might be an alligator or a squirrel) take on their scarier interpretations (Prinz & Seidel 2012;Fig. 2H); social exclusion makes other people look closer (Pitts et al. 2014); and smiling faces appear brighter (Song et al. 2012;Fig. ...
... For example, similar explanations seem eminently plausible for reported effects of desirability on distance perception (e.g., the estimated distance of feces vs. chocolate; Balcetis & Dunning 2010), of racial identity on faces' perceived lightness (Levin & Banaji 2006), of stereotypes on the identity of weapons and tools (Correll et al. 2015), of tool use on the perceived distance to reachable targets , of scary music on the interpretation of scary or nonscary ambiguous figures (Prinz & Seidel 2012; Fig. 2H), and of fear of heights on perceived height (Clerkin et al. 2009; Durgin et al. 2009), it is no longer possible to provide compelling evidence for a top-down effect on perception without considering the experiment's social context. Yet, so many studies never even mention the possibility of demand-based effects (including several studies mentioned above, e.g., Mitterer et al. 2009;Prinz & Seidel 2012). (For some exceptions, see Levin & Banaji 2006;Schnall et al. 2010;Witt 2011b.) ...
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The spectacularly varied responses to our target article raised big-picture questions about the nature of seeing and thinking, nitty-gritty experimental design details, and everything in between. We grapple with these issues, including the ready falsifiability of our view, neuroscientific theories that allow everything but demand nothing, cases where seeing and thinking conflict, mental imagery, the free press, an El Greco fallacy fallacy, hallucinogenic drugs, blue bananas, subatomic particles, Boeing 787s, and the racial identities of geometric shapes.
... (G) Positive words are seen as lighter than negative words (Meier et al. 2007). (H) Scary music makes ambiguous images take on their scarier interpretation (Prinz & Seidel 2012). (I) Smiling faces appear brighter (Song et al. 2012). ...
... For example, recent studies report that thinking negative thoughts makes the world look darker (Banerjee et al. 2012;Meier et al. 2007;Fig. 2G); fear and negative arousal make hills look steeper, heights look higher, and objects look closer (Cole et al. 2012;Harber et al. 2011;Riener et al. 2011;Stefanucci & Storbeck 2009; Firestone and Scholl: Cognition does not affect perception Stefanucci et al. 2012;Storbeck & Stefanucci 2014;Teachman et al. 2008); scary music makes ambiguous images (e.g., an ambiguous figure that might be an alligator or a squirrel) take on their scarier interpretations (Prinz & Seidel 2012;Fig. 2H); social exclusion makes other people look closer (Pitts et al. 2014); and smiling faces appear brighter (Song et al. 2012;Fig. ...
... For example, similar explanations seem eminently plausible for reported effects of desirability on distance perception (e.g., the estimated distance of feces vs. chocolate; Balcetis & Dunning 2010), of racial identity on faces' perceived lightness (Levin & Banaji 2006), of stereotypes on the identity of weapons and tools (Correll et al. 2015), of tool use on the perceived distance to reachable targets , of scary music on the interpretation of scary or nonscary ambiguous figures (Prinz & Seidel 2012; Fig. 2H), and of fear of heights on perceived height (Clerkin et al. 2009; Durgin et al. 2009), it is no longer possible to provide compelling evidence for a top-down effect on perception without considering the experiment's social context. Yet, so many studies never even mention the possibility of demand-based effects (including several studies mentioned above, e.g., Mitterer et al. 2009;Prinz & Seidel 2012). (For some exceptions, see Levin & Banaji 2006;Schnall et al. 2010;Witt 2011b.) ...
Article
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We introduce two propositions for understanding top-down effects on perception. First, perception is not a unitary construct but is composed of multiple components. Second, behavior is multiply determined by cognitive processes. We call for a process-oriented research approach to perception and use our own research on moral perception as a “case study of case studies” to examine these issues.
... (G) Positive words are seen as lighter than negative words (Meier et al. 2007). (H) Scary music makes ambiguous images take on their scarier interpretation (Prinz & Seidel 2012). (I) Smiling faces appear brighter (Song et al. 2012). ...
... For example, recent studies report that thinking negative thoughts makes the world look darker (Banerjee et al. 2012;Meier et al. 2007;Fig. 2G); fear and negative arousal make hills look steeper, heights look higher, and objects look closer (Cole et al. 2012;Harber et al. 2011;Riener et al. 2011;Stefanucci & Storbeck 2009; Firestone and Scholl: Cognition does not affect perception Stefanucci et al. 2012;Storbeck & Stefanucci 2014;Teachman et al. 2008); scary music makes ambiguous images (e.g., an ambiguous figure that might be an alligator or a squirrel) take on their scarier interpretations (Prinz & Seidel 2012;Fig. 2H); social exclusion makes other people look closer (Pitts et al. 2014); and smiling faces appear brighter (Song et al. 2012;Fig. ...
... For example, similar explanations seem eminently plausible for reported effects of desirability on distance perception (e.g., the estimated distance of feces vs. chocolate; Balcetis & Dunning 2010), of racial identity on faces' perceived lightness (Levin & Banaji 2006), of stereotypes on the identity of weapons and tools (Correll et al. 2015), of tool use on the perceived distance to reachable targets , of scary music on the interpretation of scary or nonscary ambiguous figures (Prinz & Seidel 2012; Fig. 2H), and of fear of heights on perceived height (Clerkin et al. 2009; Durgin et al. 2009), it is no longer possible to provide compelling evidence for a top-down effect on perception without considering the experiment's social context. Yet, so many studies never even mention the possibility of demand-based effects (including several studies mentioned above, e.g., Mitterer et al. 2009;Prinz & Seidel 2012). (For some exceptions, see Levin & Banaji 2006;Schnall et al. 2010;Witt 2011b.) ...
Article
Modern conceptions of brain function consider the brain as a “predictive organ,” where learned regularities about the world are utilised to facilitate perception of incoming sensory input. Critically, this process hinges on a role for cognitive penetrability. We review a mechanism to explain this process and expand our previous proposals of cognitive penetrability in visual recognition to social vision and visual hallucinations.
... (G) Positive words are seen as lighter than negative words (Meier et al. 2007). (H) Scary music makes ambiguous images take on their scarier interpretation (Prinz & Seidel 2012). (I) Smiling faces appear brighter (Song et al. 2012). ...
... For example, recent studies report that thinking negative thoughts makes the world look darker (Banerjee et al. 2012;Meier et al. 2007;Fig. 2G); fear and negative arousal make hills look steeper, heights look higher, and objects look closer (Cole et al. 2012;Harber et al. 2011;Riener et al. 2011;Stefanucci & Storbeck 2009; Firestone and Scholl: Cognition does not affect perception Stefanucci et al. 2012;Storbeck & Stefanucci 2014;Teachman et al. 2008); scary music makes ambiguous images (e.g., an ambiguous figure that might be an alligator or a squirrel) take on their scarier interpretations (Prinz & Seidel 2012;Fig. 2H); social exclusion makes other people look closer (Pitts et al. 2014); and smiling faces appear brighter (Song et al. 2012;Fig. ...
... For example, similar explanations seem eminently plausible for reported effects of desirability on distance perception (e.g., the estimated distance of feces vs. chocolate; Balcetis & Dunning 2010), of racial identity on faces' perceived lightness (Levin & Banaji 2006), of stereotypes on the identity of weapons and tools (Correll et al. 2015), of tool use on the perceived distance to reachable targets , of scary music on the interpretation of scary or nonscary ambiguous figures (Prinz & Seidel 2012; Fig. 2H), and of fear of heights on perceived height (Clerkin et al. 2009; Durgin et al. 2009), it is no longer possible to provide compelling evidence for a top-down effect on perception without considering the experiment's social context. Yet, so many studies never even mention the possibility of demand-based effects (including several studies mentioned above, e.g., Mitterer et al. 2009;Prinz & Seidel 2012). (For some exceptions, see Levin & Banaji 2006;Schnall et al. 2010;Witt 2011b.) ...
Article
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Firestone & Scholl (F&S) rely on three problematic assumptions about the mind (modularity, reflexiveness, and context-insensitivity) to argue cognition does not fundamentally influence perception. We highlight evidence indicating that perception, cognition, and emotion are constructed through overlapping, distributed brain networks characterized by top-down activity and context-sensitivity. This evidence undermines F&S's ability to generalize from case studies to the nature of perception.
... In such cases, the perceived environment is purportedly altered to match the perceiver's mood or feelings. For example, there are recent reports that thinking negative thoughts makes the world look darker (Banerjee et al., 2012;Meier et al., 2007;Figure 2g); fear and negative arousal make hills look steeper, heights look higher, and objects look closer (Cole et al., 2012;Harber et al., 2011;Riener et al., 2011;Stefanucci & Storbeck, 2009;Stefanucci et al., 2012;Storbeck & Stefanucci, 2014;Teachman et al., 2008); scary music makes ambiguous images (e.g. an ambiguous alligator/squirrel) take on their scarier interpretations (Prinz & Seidel, 2012; Figure 2h); social exclusion makes other people look closer (Pitts et al., 2014); and smiling faces appear brighter (Song et al., 2012;Figure 2i). Here, the effects are either thought to accentuate one's emotional state -perhaps because affect is p. 16 informative about the organism's needs (e.g. ...
... Many other studies use salient manipulations and measures in the manner of backpacks and hills (Bhalla & Proffitt, 1999). For example, similar explanations seem eminently plausible for reported effects of desirability on distance perception (e.g. the estimated distance of feces vs. chocolate; Balcetis & Dunning, 2010), of racial identity on faces' perceived lightness (Levin & Banaji, 2006), of stereotypes on the identity of weapons and tools (Correll et al., 2015), of tooluse on the perceived distance to reachable targets , of scary music on the interpretation of scary or non-scary ambiguous figures (Prinz & Seidel, 2012;Figure 2h), and of fear of heights on perceived height (Clerkin et al., 2009;). ...
... Yet, so many studies never even mention the possibility of demand-based effects (including several studies mentioned above; e.g. Mitterer et al., 2009;Prinz & Seidel, 2012). (For some exceptions, see Levin & Banaji, 2006;Schnall et al., 2010;Witt, 2011b.) ...
Article
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What determines what we see? In contrast to the traditional “modular” understanding of perception, according to which visual processing is encapsulated from higher-level cognition, a tidal wave of recent research alleges that states such as beliefs, desires, emotions, motivations, intentions, and linguistic representations exert direct top-down influences on what we see. There is a growing consensus that such effects are ubiquitous, and that the distinction between perception and cognition may itself be unsustainable. We argue otherwise: none of these hundreds of studies — either individually or collectively — provide compelling evidence for true top-down effects on perception, or “cognitive penetrability”. In particular, and despite their variety, we suggest that these studies all fall prey to only a handful of pitfalls. And whereas abstract theoretical challenges have failed to resolve this debate in the past, our presentation of these pitfalls is empirically anchored: in each case, we show not only how certain studies could be susceptible to the pitfall (in principle), but how several alleged top-down effects actually are explained by the pitfall (in practice). Moreover, these pitfalls are perfectly general, with each applying to dozens of other top-down effects. We conclude by extracting the lessons provided by these pitfalls into a checklist that future work could use to convincingly demonstrate top-down effects on visual perception. The discovery of substantive top-down effects of cognition on perception would revolutionize our understanding of how the mind is organized; but without addressing these pitfalls, no such empirical report will license such exciting conclusions.
... Finally, there are interesting cases of what may be intermodal penetration in art. My collaborator and I conducted a study in which we found that scary music makes dangerous objects more salient in bistable figures (Prinz and Seidel, 2012). Film directors intuitively exploit such effects when they use music to help create a suspenseful atmosphere. ...
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Inclui estudos de Dena Shottenkirk (Brooklyn Colege, NY), Manuel Curado (Uminho) and Steven S. Gouveia (UMinho), “Introduction”, Davide Dalla Rosa (U. Padova) and Federico Sanguinetti (UFRGN Brasil), “Disjunctivism and the Internal: A Problem for McDowell’s Epistemological Disjunctivism?”; Manuel Curado (Uminho), “Xenophanes’ Figs and Honey: An Essay about a Program of Philosophy of Perception”; Steven S. Gouveia (UMinho) and Georg Northoff (U. Ottawa), “A Neurophilosophical Approach to Perception”; Benjamin D. Young (U. Nevada, USA) “Smelling Molecular Structure”; Anatoly Nichvoloda (Brooklyn College, USA), “‘Hierarchical Bokeh’ Theory of Attention”; Aili Bresnahan (U. Dayton, USA), “Perceiving Live Improvisation in the Performing Arts”; Bill Brewer (U. Oxford), “Consciousness and Content in Perception”; Susanna Schellenberg (Rutgers U., USA), “Perceptual Capacities”; Nicholas Georgalis (East Carolina U., USA), “Thinking Differently About Thought”; Angela Mendelovici (U. Western Ontario), “Immediate and Reflective Senses”; Tim Crane (CEU, Budapest), “The Unity of Unconsciousness”; Michelle Liu (U. Oxford), “Phenomenal Experience and the Thesis of Revelation”; Anya Farennikova (City Univ., New York, USA), “Would You Buy Absence Art?”; Jesse Prinz (City U. New York, USA), “Penetrating Beauty: Knowledge, Culture and Context in Aesthetic Perception”; Dena Shottenkirk (Brooklyn College, NY), “Gist Experience”; Romain Bigé (CNRS), “How Do I Know When I Am Dancing?”; Dena Shottenkirk (Brooklyn College, NY), “Interview with James Cohan”; and Steven S. Gouveia, “Interview with Leonel Moura”.
... However, a landmark study in 2006 is often cited as overcoming these challenges (Hansen et al., 2006), and it has reinvigorated interest in the memory color effect over the last decade (Olkkonen et al, 2008;Witzel et al, 2011;Kimura et al, 2013;Witzel, 2016) as well as studies and philosophical discussions purporting the influence of cognition on perception (Lupyan and Spivey, 2008;Mitterer and Ruiter, 2008;Prinz & Seidel 2012;Radel & Clément-Guillotin 2012, Banerjee et al. 2012, Cole et al. 2012, Maier at al.,2014Wakslak & Kim 2015, Léger & Chauvet 2015Macpherson, 2012;Stokes, 2013;Gatzia, 2017;Lammers et al., 2017). The foundational insight in the Hansen and colleagues (2006) study involves the use of an adjustment task that always requires participants to adjust a stimulus to a neutral or 'achromatic' gray. ...
Preprint
What shapes perception? Does what we know and remember actively affect what we see? Perhaps the most intuitive example of something remembered or known possibly affecting perception is the case of objects with canonical hues. Since people are aware of the typical colors of certain objects, are those objects perceived differently? All other reflectance and lighting properties held constant, do such objects elicit color appearances that are different from those that would arise for surfaces without canonical color associations? The question is difficult to answer empirically because it is one precisely about ones phenomenological experience. But in the last two decades, a small number of studies have supplied rigorous evidence of canonical memory modulating color appearance. I sought to extend these studies to cases of objects with more than one canonical color association (e.g. grapes). But I failed to obtain a memory color effect for any of the stimuli, even those intended to replicate the original effects. Results, however, demonstrate the shaping of perception along the (L + M)/S axis, the axis which daylight illumination is known to vary along, in what normal trichromats judged to be a neutral, achromatic point. Specifically, subjects typically adjusted familiar objects in the opponent direction of their achromatic points. These biases may explain the appearance of effects in past studies. More broadly, these results point to a need for replication in order to establish a consensus around whether cognition (e.g. memory) does, in fact, modulate perception.
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The question of whether perception is encapsulated from cognition has been a major topic in the study of perception in the past decade. One locus of debate concerns the role of attention. Some theorists argue that attention is a vehicle for widespread violations of encapsulation; others argue that certain forms of cognitively driven attention are compatible with encapsulation, especially if attention only modulates inputs. This paper argues for an extreme thesis: no effect of attention, whether on the inputs to perception or on perceptual processing itself, constitutes a violation of the encapsulation of perception.
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It has been hypothesized that humans have evolved a hypersensitivity to detect intentional agents at a perceptual level, as failing to detect these agents may potentially be more harmful than incorrectly assuming that agents are absent. Following this logic, ambiguous threatening situations should lead people to falsely detect the presence of agents. In six threat-inducing experiments (N = 233) we have investigated whether threat induction increases agent detection. We operationalized human agent detection by means of a Biological Motion Detection Task (Experiments 1 and 2) and an Auditory Agent Detection Task (Experiment 4). Intentionality detection was operationalized by means of a Geometrical Figures Task (Experiment 3). Threat manipulations that were either weak (threatening pictures, classical horror music) or moderate (virtual reality) did not increase false human agent or intentionality detection. Moreover, participants generally had a response bias towards assuming that agents were absent (Experiments 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, and 4). Further, agent and intentionality detection measures were unrelated to individual differences in supernatural beliefs, although they were related to the negativity bias. This study reveals the boundary conditions under which the agent and intentionality detection is not intensified and provides recommendations for future research.
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Firestone & Scholl (F&S) assert that perceptual learning is not a top-down effect, because experience-mediated changes arise from familiarity with the features of the object through simple repetition and not knowledge about the environment. Emberson and Amso (2012) provide a clear example of perceptual learning that bypasses the authors' “pitfalls” and in which knowledge, not repeated experience, results in changes in perception.
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Previous research on perceiving spatial layout has found that people often exhibit normative biases in their perception of the environment. For instance, slant is typically overestimated and distance is usually underestimated. Surprisingly, however, the perception of height has rarely been studied. The present experiments examined the perception of height when viewed from the top (e.g., looking down) or from the bottom (e.g., looking up). Multiple measures were adapted from previous studies of horizontal extents to assess the perception of height. Across all of the measures, a large, consistent bias was found: Vertical distances were greatly overestimated, especially from the top. Secondary findings suggest that the overestimation of distance and size that occurs when looking down from a high place correlates with reports of trait- and state-level fear of heights, suggesting that height overestimation may be due, in part, to fear.
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Participants searched for discrepant fear-relevant pictures (snakes or spiders) in grid-pattern arrays of fear-irrelevant pictures belonging to the same category (flowers or mushrooms) and vice versa. Fear-relevant pictures were found more quickly than fear-irrelevant ones. Fear-relevant, but not fear-irrelevant, search was unaffected by the location of the target in the display and by the number of distractors, which suggests parallel search for fear-relevant targets and serial search for fear-irrelevant targets. Participants specifically fearful of snakes but not spiders (or vice versa) showed facilitated search for the feared objects but did not differ from controls in search for nonfeared fear-relevant or fear-irrelevant, targets. Thus, evolutionary relevant threatening stimuli were effective in capturing attention, and this effect was further facilitated if the stimulus was emotionally provocative.
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The use of general linear regression methods for the analysis of categorical data is recommended. The general linear model analysis of a 0,1 coded re sponse variable produces estimates of the same re sponse probabilities that might otherwise be esti mated from frequencies in a multiway contingency table. When factors in the design are correlated, the regression analysis estimates the same response probabilities that would be estimated from the simple marginal frequencies in a balanced ortho gonal design. The independent effects that are es timated by the regression analysis are the un- weighted means of the response probabilities in various cells of a cross-classification design; how ever, it is not necessary that all cells in a complex design be filled in order for the estimates to have that interpretation. The advantages of the general linear model analysis include familiarity of most psychologists with the methods, availability of computer programs, and ease of application to problems that are too complex for development of complete multiway contingency tables.
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Vision is believed to dominate our multisensory perception of the world. Here we overturn this established view by showing that auditory information can qualitatively alter the perception of an unambiguous visual stimulus to create a striking visual illusion. Our findings indicate that visual perception can be manipulated by other sensory modalities.
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Argues that, although much recent research has emphasized the equivalence between imagery and perception, there are critical differences between these activities. Perception, initiated by an external stimulus, is to a large extent concerned with the interpretation of that stimulus; in contrast, images are created as symbols of something and hence need no interpretive process. Without a construal process, images do not allow reconstrual. In support of this argument, a series of 4 experiments with 65 university students was conducted to test whether Ss could reverse an ambiguous figure (e.g., duck/rabbit) in mental imagery. The S population contained many with vivid imagery, as assessed by a visual elaboration scale and the Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire. In all 4 experiments, Ss were unable to reverse a mental image, but all Ss were able, immediately after this failure, to draw a picture from their mental image and then reconstrue the figure in their own drawing. This failure to reverse images occurs despite hints to the S, some coaching, and a moderate amount of training in figural reversal. Findings emphasize the difference between images and percepts. (46 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Two experiments extended the work of C. MacLeod and A. Mathews (see record 1989-23867-001) and examined whether a cognitive bias for threat information is a function of state or trait anxiety. Color-naming and attention deployment tasks were used to assess the effects of a stress manipulation procedure on attentional responses in high and low trait anxious Ss. Ss under high stress selectively allocated processing resources toward threat stimuli, irrespective of their trait anxiety level. There was no consistent evidence of a cognitive bias associated with trait anxiety, and the effect of the stress manipulation did not apppear to be mediated by state anxiety. It was suggested that trait factors do not modify attentional biases associated with acute stress but may influence such biases when stress is prolonged. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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A study was conducted to determine if analysis of variance techniques are appropriate when the dependent variable has a dichotomous (zero-one) distribution. Several 1-, 2-, and 3-way analysis of variance configurations were investigated with regard to both the size of the Type I error and the Power. The findings show the analysis of variance to be an appropriate statistical technique for analyzing dichotomous data in fixed effects models where cell frequencies are equal under the following conditions: (a) the proportion of responses in the smaller response category is equal to or greater than .2 and there are at least 20 degrees of freedom for error, or (b) the proportion of responses in the smaller response category is less than .2 and there are at least 40 degrees of freedom for error.
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This study was designed to demonstrate that voluntary control of the perception of reversible figures is possible. Within the context of a fully counterbalanced design, some subjects were given instructions as to which side of a reversible screen or staircase to keep closer while others served as no instruction controls. As predicted, voluntary control was clearly demonstrated over both figures. Voluntary control instructions did not influence the frequency of reversals directly, but frequency of reversals and voluntary control were inversely related. Moreover, subjects' voluntary control over one figure was highly correlated with their control over the other, suggesting the presence of stable individual differences in ability to control perception voluntarily.