Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Holding a gun makes you think others are too, new research shows

March 22, 2012
Wielding a gun increases a person's bias to see guns in the hands of others, new research from the University of Notre Dame shows.

Notre Dame Associate Professor of Psychology James Brockmole, who specializes in human cognition and how the visual world guides behavior, together with a colleague from Purdue University, conducted the study, which will appear in an upcoming issue of Journal of Experimental Psychology: Perception and Performance.

In five experiments, subjects were shown multiple images of people on a computer screen and determined whether the person was holding a gun or a neutral object such as a soda can or cell phone. Subjects did this while holding either a toy gun or a neutral object, such as a foam ball.

The researchers varied the situation in each experiment - such as the having the people in the images sometimes wear ski masks, changing the race of the person in the image or changing the reaction subjects were to have when they perceived the person in the image to hold a gun. Regardless of the situation the observers found themselves in, the study showed that responding with a gun biased observers to report "gun present" more than did responding with a ball. Thus, by virtue of affording the subject the opportunity to use a gun, he or she was more likely to classify objects in a scene as a gun and, as a result, to engage in threat-induced behavior, such as raising a firearm to shoot.

"Beliefs, expectations, and emotions can all influence an observer's ability to detect and to categorize objects as guns," Dr. Brockmole says. "Now we know that a person's ability to act in certain ways can bias their recognition of objects as well, and in dramatic ways. It seems that people have a hard time separating their thoughts about what they perceive and their thoughts about how they can or should act."

The researchers showed that the ability to act is a key factor in their effects by showing that simply showing observers a nearby gun did not influence their behavior; holding and using the gun was important.

"One reason we supposed that wielding a firearm might influence object categorization stems from previous research in this area which argues that people perceive the spatial properties of their surrounding environment in terms of their ability to perform an intended action," Brockmole says.

For example, other research has shown that people with broader shoulders tend to perceive doorways to be narrower, and softball players with higher batting averages perceive the ball to be bigger. The blending of perception and action representations could explain, in part, why people holding a gun would tend to assume others are, too.

"In addition to the theoretical implications for event perception and object identification, these findings have practical implications for law enforcement and public safety," Brockmole says.

University of Notre Dame


Related Perception Current Events and Perception News Articles


Intimacy a strong motivator for PrEP HIV prevention
Men in steady same-sex relationships where both partners are HIV negative will often forgo condoms out of a desire to preserve intimacy, even if they also have sex outside the relationship.

Bats bolster brain hypothesis, maybe technology, too
Decades of research on how bats use echolocation to keep a focus on their targets not only lends support to a long debated neuroscience hypothesis about vision but also could lead to smarter sonar and radar technologies.

'Science' features PRB, WSU, DMC advances in preterm birth
The Aug. 15 edition of the prestigious journal Science features a major article about the most important problem in obstetrics: preterm labor. The article, "Preterm labor: one syndrome, many causes," delivers a powerful message: preterm birth is not one condition, but many, and provides a framework for meeting this challenge.

Disconnect between parenting and certain jobs a source of stress, study finds
Some working parents are carrying more psychological baggage than others - and the reason has nothing to do with demands on their time and energy.

The notion of love can lead to greater acceptance of couples' rights
An Indiana University study found that how "in love" a romantic couple appears to be is interpreted differently based on the couple's sexual orientation, affecting what formal and informal rights people think that couple deserves.

Surprising number of older adults weathered the 'Great Recession' without financial strain
The "Great Recession" may have put a dent in many older adults' pocketbooks, but a new study, which will be presented at the 109th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, finds that more than 40 percent reported a decrease in "financial strain" between 2006 and 2010.

Provider and parental assumptions on teen sex yield 'missed opportunities' for HPV vaccine
Probing deeper into the complex decisions that parents and providers face regarding the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, researchers found that though both parties appreciated importance of the HPV vaccine, their personal assumptions surrounding timing of administration relative to onset of sexual activity resulted in decreased vaccination rates.

Why Aren't Campus Emergency Alerts Taken More Seriously?
Well-publicized tragedies on college campuses across the United States have prompted university officials to implement alert systems that broadcast real-time warnings via text message and e-mail to students, faculty, and staff.

Overhaul of our understanding of why autism potentially occurs
An analysis of autism research covering genetics, brain imaging, and cognition led by Laurent Mottron of the University of Montreal has overhauled our understanding of why autism potentially occurs, develops and results in a diversity of symptoms.

Regular marijuana use bad for teens' brains
Frequent marijuana use can have a significant negative effect on the brains of teenagers and young adults, including cognitive decline, poor attention and memory, and decreased IQ, according to psychologists discussing public health implications of marijuana legalization at the American Psychological Association's 122nd Annual Convention.
More Perception Current Events and Perception News Articles

PERCEPTION (Perception Trilogy Book 1)

PERCEPTION (Perception Trilogy Book 1)
by ESB Publishing


Eternal Life is To Die For.

Seventeen year old Zoe Vanderveen is a GAP—a genetically altered person. She lives in the security of a walled city on prime water-front property along side other equally beautiful people with extended life spans.
Her brother Liam is missing.

Noah Brody is a natural who lives on the outside. He leads protests against the GAPs and detests the widening chasm they’ve created between those who have and those who don’t. He doesn’t like girls like Zoe and he has good reason not to like her specifically.

Zoe’s carefree life takes a traumatic turn. She’s in trouble and it turns out that Noah, the last guy on earth she should trust, is the only one who can help her.

PERCEPTION is a (...

Perception

Perception
by Randolph Blake (Author), Robert Sekuler (Author)


Perception, 5e, by Randolph Blake and Robert Sekuler, helps students appreciate the complexity of perception, while giving them a fresh perspective on their own seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting. This thoroughly revised Fifth Edition includes updated research on cognitive influences on perception, two additional chapters, and a new, contemporary look.

The Perception Transformation: How to Transform The Reality By Understanding Our Perception

The Perception Transformation: How to Transform The Reality By Understanding Our Perception
by Chris Smythe


Life is difficult.. That's how a lot of people perceive their own life and it is true for them, because that is what they believe and their sub-conscious mind would 100% support them the idea that " life is difficult ". But the question is life really that hard? or it's just our perception? What we perceive is what we believe, and all this is based on what we hear, see, feel, and think. Our perception drives our behaviors everyday and our thoughts are perhaps the most crucial components of our ability to perceive.

In this book, we will discuss in detail on the power of our perception and explore how the way our mind works affects our perception. We will take a closer look at how each of us perceive the sight and sound he/she receives in a way which is very different from...

The Doors of Perception: Heaven and Hell (Thinking Classics)

The Doors of Perception: Heaven and Hell (Thinking Classics)
by Aldous Huxley (Author), Robbie McCallum (Introduction)


In 1952 Aldous Huxley became involved in the now legendary experiment to clinically detail the physiological and psycho-logical effects of the little known drug used by Mexican and Native American elders in religious practices. The drug was Peyote-now commonly know as mescalin. By the standards of the time, Huxley was a hard working, respected, and reserved intellectual from a highly intelligent, well-know, and eccentric British family. By any standards, the results of the experiment were remarkable. The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell detail the practic-alities of the experiment and give Huxley's vivid account of his im-mediate experience and the more prolonged effect upon his sub-sequent thinking and awareness. At first, the reader is drawn in by the sheer naivety and...

Sensation & Perception, Third Edition

Sensation & Perception, Third Edition
by Jeremy M. Wolfe (Author), Keith R. Kluender (Author), Dennis M. Levi (Author)


Why does the sky look blue? Why does sugar taste sweet? Fully revised and updated, this introductory, full-colour text is written by experts in each of the five senses who convey the excitement of the field to students, providing comprehensive descriptions of the science behind vision, hearing, touch, smell and taste.

Sensation and Perception (with CourseMate Printed Access Card)

Sensation and Perception (with CourseMate Printed Access Card)
by E. Bruce Goldstein (Author)


Seeing and reading this sentence may seem like a "no brainer"--but your perception is just a tiny part of what is happening in your brain and body right now (both are much busier than you might think). SENSATION AND PERCEPTION has helped many readers understand the ties between how we sense the world and how the body interprets these senses. A key strength of this book has always been the ability to illustrate concepts through examples and visuals. Dr. Goldstein walks you through an intriguing journey of the senses, combining clear writing, his extensive classroom experience, and innovative research to create a visual, colorful book. Available with InfoTrac Student Collections http://gocengage.com/infotrac.

The Perception Deception

The Perception Deception
by David Icke (Author)


David Icke, the world s most controversial author, has spent the last quarter of a century unravelling the secrets of the Universe, reality and the forces that manipulate our world. What was once ridiculed and dismissed is now being confirmed again and again as Icke, a figure of fun for so long, is acknowledged as a man way ahead of his time.

The Power of Perception: 6 Steps to Behavior Change

The Power of Perception: 6 Steps to Behavior Change
by Hyrum W. Smith (Author)


Bestselling author and motivational speaker, Hyrum W. Smith delivers his newest self-help eBook The Power of Perception: 6 Rules of Behavior Change. Hyrum teaches powerful rules for personal transformation that, if followed, can bring positive life change that breaks habits. Through the rules called “The Reality Model,” Hyrum illustrates the how-to process of understanding why we do what we do. Learning to identify what we internally believe teaches us why we act and react the way we do, positively or negatively. These rules are simple to apply that you will create quick and positive behavior change. The Power of Perception is a tool to get your goals and habits aligned for successful life change. Applying the six self-help rules for behavior change, you will discover personal...

Phenomenology of Perception

Phenomenology of Perception
by Maurice Merleau-Ponty (Author), Donald Landes (Translator), Taylor Carman (Translator)


First published in 1945, Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s monumental Phénoménologie de la perception signalled the arrival of a major new philosophical and intellectual voice in post-war Europe. Breaking with the prevailing picture of existentialism and phenomenology at the time, it has become one of the landmark works of twentieth-century thought. This new translation, the first for over fifty years, makes this classic work of philosophy available to a new generation of readers. Phenomenology of Perception stands in the great phenomenological tradition of Husserl, Heidegger, and Sartre. Yet Merleau-Ponty’s contribution is decisive, as he brings this tradition and other philosophical predecessors, particularly Descartes and Kant, to confront a neglected dimension of our experience: the lived...

Leap of Perception: The Transforming Power of Your Attention

Leap of Perception: The Transforming Power of Your Attention
by Penney Peirce (Author)


Step into a Transformed World

Age is speeding to a point where life will soon make a “leap” into the Intuition Age. The resulting reality will function according to different rules and we’ll know ourselves as a new kind of human being. We’ll live in a world that’s functioning entirely in the present moment, close to the speed of light.

As the world increases in frequency, we’re embracing the idea that life improves when we develop our own human abilities to work with energy and sophisticated perception. In Leap of Perception, you’ll learn new ways of using your attention that will become normal in the Intuition Age—things like direct knowing, undivided attention, flow attention, unified field attention, collective-self attention, and working purposefully...

© 2014 BrightSurf.com