ECVP 2008 Abstract

Cite as:
Schlottmann A, Ray E, Congiu S, Bhutani A, 2008, "Perception of intentionality in simple, straight motions of schematic shapes" Perception 37 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 152

Perception of intentionality in simple, straight motions of schematic shapes

A Schlottmann, E Ray, S Congiu, A Bhutani

Discussions of the perceptual cues used for infants' ontological distinctions hold that self-motion appears intentional. If so, then this should also appear for adults. Ninety-one observers judged whether a square looked as if moving on purpose. Its straight-line motion was identical throughout; we varied whether another stationary/moving square or occluder appeared at/close to its origin and end points. A 6 origin × 6 end context factorial (Experiment 1) found smaller end than origin effects. Motion without context elicited the highest ratings, slightly higher than motion originating from contact/proximity to a stationary shape, or with hidden onset. Motion after collision with another shape was by far least purposeful. Eliminating the most/least purposeful origin contexts (Experiment 2) produced stronger end effects, but also strong individual difference: Some observers had a 'free will' view, that motion without external incentive was most purposive, others preferred external goals. Non-rigid, animal-like motion of target/goal also increased ratings (Experiment 3). Overall, adults have well-developed intuitions of intentionality even for simple motions, reflecting perceptual and cognitive factors.
[Supported by ESRC grant RES-000-23-0198.]

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