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The Flushtration Count Illusion: Attribute substitution tricks our interpretation of a simple visual event sequence

Thomas, C.; Didierjean, A and Kuhn, Gustav. 2018. The Flushtration Count Illusion: Attribute substitution tricks our interpretation of a simple visual event sequence. British Journal of Psychology, 109(4), pp. 850-861. ISSN 0007-1269 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

When faced with a difficult question, people sometimes work out an answer to a related, easier question without realizing that a substitution has taken place (e.g., Kahneman; 2011). In two experiments, we investigated whether this attribute substitution effect can also affect the interpretation of a simple visual event sequence. We used a magic trick called the "Flushtration Count Illusion," which involves a technique used by magicians to give the illusion of having seen multiple cards with identical backs, when in fact only the back of one card (the bottom card) is repeatedly shown. In Experiment 1, we demonstrated that most participants are susceptible to the illusion, even if they have the visual and analytical reasoning capacity to correctly process the sequence. In Experiment 2, we demonstrated that participants construct a biased and simplified representation of the Flushtration Count by substituting some attributes of the event sequence. We discussed of the psychological processes underlying this attribute substitution effect.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1111/bjop.12306

Keywords:

Magic, Attribute Substitution Effect, Misdirection, Flushtration Count Illusion, Perception, reasoning, Dual process theory

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology

Dates:

DateEvent
18 March 2018Accepted
17 April 2018Published

Item ID:

23072

Date Deposited:

23 Mar 2018 15:25

Last Modified:

18 Mar 2019 02:26

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/23072

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