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|Title:||An Investigation into the Motion Cues Eliciting a Perception of Animacy|
|Keywords:||perception, animacy, speed, motion, object|
|Abstract:||<p> The perception of animacy - judging an object as appearing alive - is a fundamental social perception dating back to Piaget. The present research investigates motion to examine how and when people will perceive an ambiguous moving object as appearing alive.</p> <p> Chapter 1 uses a number of methods to illustrate that people will judge a relatively faster-moving object as appearing alive more often than an identical but relatively slower-moving object. Chapter 2 demonstrates that people are more likely to perceive an object moving at a constant speed if it appears to move relatively faster than a similar object. Further, people will make this judgement even if the differences in speed are not real, but merely illusory.</p> <p> Chapter 3 describes a specific case where the association of greater speed and animacy is not perceptually maintained. By showing people objects that appear to fall or rise - thereby obeying or violating gravity - it is shown that our perceptions of animacy are not fixed, but rather are functionally adapted to at least one regular and predictable feature of the visual environment; namely gravity. This suggests that some aspects of our perceptions of animacy have been shaped over evolutionary time.</p> <p> The following chapter examines whether our perceptions of animacy are structured - like our perceptions of colours - categorically, such that there is an identifiable boundary between the velocities that elicit a perception of animacy and the velocities that do not. Results suggest that people do not perceive animacy categorically</p> <p> The final empirical chapter illustrates that experience over the lifespan also influences our perceptions of animacy and of speed. Monolingual readers of a language read from left-to-right (viz., English) were biased to judge an object moving in that direction as appearing faster and more alive than an object moving at the same speed in the opposite direction. However, bilingual readers of both English and a language read from right-to-left did not exhibit this bias.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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