Exploiting failures in metacognition through magic: Visual awareness as a source of visual metacognition bias

Ortega, J.; Montañesa, P.; Barnhart, A. and Kuhn, Gustav. 2018. Exploiting failures in metacognition through magic: Visual awareness as a source of visual metacognition bias. Consciousness and Cognition, 65, pp. 152-168. ISSN 1053-8100 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

We used cognitive illusions/magic tricks to study the role of visual awareness as a source of biases in visual metacognitive judgments. We conducted a questionnaire-based study (n = 144) and an eye tracking study (n = 69) in which participants watched videos of four different magic tricks that capitalize on failures of visual awareness (inattentional blindness and change blindness). We measured participants’ susceptibility to these illusions, their beliefs about other people’s susceptibility, as well as the role that fixating (i.e. eye position) the critical event has on detecting the secret. Participants who detected the method of the tricks believed it was more likely that other people would detect it compared to those participants who failed to notice the method. Moreover, they believed that they moved their eyes to look at it. Eye tracking data show that, contrary to participants’ beliefs, peripheral vision played a significant role in detecting the method. Overall, the findings from these studies suggest that visual awareness may bias visual metacognitive judgments.

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Visual metacognition, Metacognitive biases, Visual awareness, Cognitive illusions, Eye movements

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25 August 2018Accepted
1 September 2018Published Online
1 October 2018Published

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Date Deposited:

14 Sep 2018 12:00

Last Modified:

01 Sep 2020 01:26



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