Effects of False Statements on Visual Perception Hinge on Social Suggestibility

Hernán Anlló*, Katsumi Watanabe, Jérôme Sackur, Vincent de Gardelle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Verbal hints can bias perceptual decision-making, even when the information they provide is false. What makes individuals more or less susceptible to such influences, however, remains unclear. Here, we inquire whether suggestibility to social influence, a high-level trait measured by a standard suggestibility scale, could predict changes in perceptual judgments. We asked naive participants to indicate the dominant color in a series of stimuli after giving them a short, false verbal statement about which color would likely dominate. We found that this statement biased participants’ perceptual judgments of the dominant color, as shown by a correlated shift of their discrimination performance, confidence judgments, and response times. Crucially, this effect was more pronounced in participants with higher levels of susceptibility to social influence. Together, these results indicate that social suggestibility can determine how much simple (albeit false) verbal hints influence perceptual judgments

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Confidence
  • Perceptual bias
  • Perceptual decision-making
  • Social influence
  • Susceptibility to suggestion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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