Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Explaining impossible phenomena : object perman...
View graph of relations

Explaining impossible phenomena : object permanence beliefs and memory falures in adults.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1996
Issue number2
Number of pages26
Pages (from-to)199-224
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In three experiments adult subjects' explanations of the observed non permanence of a physical object and their recollections of the order of the events during the experiment were obtained and analysed. The data showed that in order to conserve their strong beliefs in object permanence subjects systematically distorted the real temporal succession of events preceding the phenomenon. The frequency of the distortions depended on the salience of the non permanence phenomenon ('disappearance' versus appearance' of the physical object) and on the time interval between the events whose temporal order was reversed, but not on subjects' nationality (English versus German), gender, type of reproduction (immediate versus delayed), role in the experiment (subject versus observer) and degree of prompting in questioning.