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Cross-sensory correspondences and naïve conceptions of natural phenomena.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2012
JournalPerception
Journal number5
Volume41
Number of pages3
Pages620-622
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Cross-sensory correspondences automatically intrude on performance in elaborate laboratory tasks (see Spence, 2011, for a review). Outside such tasks, might they be responsible for some popular misconceptions about natural phenomena? Four simple demonstrations reveal how the correspondences between surface lightness and weight, and between surface lightness and auditory pitch, generate misconceptions about the weight and movement of objects and the vocalisations of animals. Specifically, people expect darker objects to be heavier than lighter coloured objects, to free fall more quickly, to roll across a table more slowly, and to make lower-pitched vocalisations when they come to life.