Limits...
Perceptual Biases in Relation to Paranormal and Conspiracy Beliefs.

van Elk M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Previous studies have shown that one's prior beliefs have a strong effect on perceptual decision-making and attentional processing.In the second experiment, it was found that skeptics showed a classical 'global-to-local' interference effect, whereas believers in conspiracy theories were characterized by a stronger 'local-to-global interference effect'.The present study shows that individual differences in paranormal and conspiracy beliefs are associated with perceptual and attentional biases, thereby extending the growing body of work in this field indicating effects of cultural learning on basic perceptual processes.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Amsterdam Brain and Cognition Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Previous studies have shown that one's prior beliefs have a strong effect on perceptual decision-making and attentional processing. The present study extends these findings by investigating how individual differences in paranormal and conspiracy beliefs are related to perceptual and attentional biases. Two field studies were conducted in which visitors of a paranormal conducted a perceptual decision making task (i.e. the face/house categorization task; Experiment 1) or a visual attention task (i.e. the global/local processing task; Experiment 2). In the first experiment it was found that skeptics compared to believers more often incorrectly categorized ambiguous face stimuli as representing a house, indicating that disbelief rather than belief in the paranormal is driving the bias observed for the categorization of ambiguous stimuli. In the second experiment, it was found that skeptics showed a classical 'global-to-local' interference effect, whereas believers in conspiracy theories were characterized by a stronger 'local-to-global interference effect'. The present study shows that individual differences in paranormal and conspiracy beliefs are associated with perceptual and attentional biases, thereby extending the growing body of work in this field indicating effects of cultural learning on basic perceptual processes.

No MeSH data available.


Reaction times for the global / local processing task.The left graph represents responses for believers in conspiracy theories and the right graph for skeptics. Left bars represent responses during ‘attend-to-global’ blocks and right bars for ‘attend-to-local’ blocks. Dark bars represent congruent and light bars incongruent trials. Error bars represent standard errors.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4482736&req=5

pone.0130422.g004: Reaction times for the global / local processing task.The left graph represents responses for believers in conspiracy theories and the right graph for skeptics. Left bars represent responses during ‘attend-to-global’ blocks and right bars for ‘attend-to-local’ blocks. Dark bars represent congruent and light bars incongruent trials. Error bars represent standard errors.

Mentions: Reaction times are presented in Fig 4. Analysis of the reaction times indicated a main effect of Congruency, F(1, 56) = 12.4, p < .001, η2 = .18, reflecting that participants responded faster on congruent (mean RT = 631 ms, SE = 29) than on incongruent trials (mean RT = 645 ms, SE = 22). No other effects were found significant. Including the RPBS as a covariate in the analysis did not reveal significant interactions between the experimental factors and paranormal beliefs (F < 1). Including the CBQ as a covariate in the analysis revealed an interaction between Attention, Congruency and the CBQ, F(1, 55) = 9.8, p < .005, η2 = .15.


Perceptual Biases in Relation to Paranormal and Conspiracy Beliefs.

van Elk M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Reaction times for the global / local processing task.The left graph represents responses for believers in conspiracy theories and the right graph for skeptics. Left bars represent responses during ‘attend-to-global’ blocks and right bars for ‘attend-to-local’ blocks. Dark bars represent congruent and light bars incongruent trials. Error bars represent standard errors.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4482736&req=5

pone.0130422.g004: Reaction times for the global / local processing task.The left graph represents responses for believers in conspiracy theories and the right graph for skeptics. Left bars represent responses during ‘attend-to-global’ blocks and right bars for ‘attend-to-local’ blocks. Dark bars represent congruent and light bars incongruent trials. Error bars represent standard errors.
Mentions: Reaction times are presented in Fig 4. Analysis of the reaction times indicated a main effect of Congruency, F(1, 56) = 12.4, p < .001, η2 = .18, reflecting that participants responded faster on congruent (mean RT = 631 ms, SE = 29) than on incongruent trials (mean RT = 645 ms, SE = 22). No other effects were found significant. Including the RPBS as a covariate in the analysis did not reveal significant interactions between the experimental factors and paranormal beliefs (F < 1). Including the CBQ as a covariate in the analysis revealed an interaction between Attention, Congruency and the CBQ, F(1, 55) = 9.8, p < .005, η2 = .15.

Bottom Line: Previous studies have shown that one's prior beliefs have a strong effect on perceptual decision-making and attentional processing.In the second experiment, it was found that skeptics showed a classical 'global-to-local' interference effect, whereas believers in conspiracy theories were characterized by a stronger 'local-to-global interference effect'.The present study shows that individual differences in paranormal and conspiracy beliefs are associated with perceptual and attentional biases, thereby extending the growing body of work in this field indicating effects of cultural learning on basic perceptual processes.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Amsterdam Brain and Cognition Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Previous studies have shown that one's prior beliefs have a strong effect on perceptual decision-making and attentional processing. The present study extends these findings by investigating how individual differences in paranormal and conspiracy beliefs are related to perceptual and attentional biases. Two field studies were conducted in which visitors of a paranormal conducted a perceptual decision making task (i.e. the face/house categorization task; Experiment 1) or a visual attention task (i.e. the global/local processing task; Experiment 2). In the first experiment it was found that skeptics compared to believers more often incorrectly categorized ambiguous face stimuli as representing a house, indicating that disbelief rather than belief in the paranormal is driving the bias observed for the categorization of ambiguous stimuli. In the second experiment, it was found that skeptics showed a classical 'global-to-local' interference effect, whereas believers in conspiracy theories were characterized by a stronger 'local-to-global interference effect'. The present study shows that individual differences in paranormal and conspiracy beliefs are associated with perceptual and attentional biases, thereby extending the growing body of work in this field indicating effects of cultural learning on basic perceptual processes.

No MeSH data available.