Imagined Effort Affects Object Localization and Sense of Agency


Individuals who continually track an object that suddenly vanishes indicate perceived vanishing points displaced beyond the actual vanishing point (i.e., forward displacement: FD) (Hubbard, 1995). Jordan, Coey, and Tsippaaoutis (2009 ) demonstrated that FD increases with implied friction (i.e., low to high friction) if one controls stimulus movements. Metcalfe and Greene (2007) showed that manipulations of stimulus control affected judgments of agency. The present experiment examined the extent to which implied friction and conceptual factors (Reed & Vinson, 1996) affect feelings of agency during stimulus control. Participants controlled the movements of a trapezoidal stimulus labeled as either a “bullet train” or a “house” in two levels of implied friction. Results revealed a marginally-significant increase in FD with implied friction. Agency also varied significantly between implied friction conditions, but only when participants conceptualized the stimulus as a bullet train and implied friction decreased across blocks (i.e., implied effort became optimal).

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