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Efficient social perception in adults: studies on visual perspective-taking and visual working memory

Wang, Jen Jessica (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Ten experiments examined the way that automatic processing of the visual perspectives and eye gaze of others affects adults‘ perception and encoding of the social world. I investigated the amount of flexibility that automatic visual perspective computation accommodates. Experiments 1, 2, and 3 demonstrate that automatic visual perspective-computation shows some flexibility for enumerating and representing perspective contents. Experiments 4 and 5 further indicate that automatic visual perspective-taking allows selection of relevant perspective information. I also examined whether observing others‘ eye gaze affects adults‘ visual working memory encoding. Experiments 6, 7, and 8 indicate that agents‘ object-oriented gaze does not lead to more efficient encoding of agent and object information. Experiments 9 and 10 demonstrate that observing others‘ participant-oriented gaze disrupts visual working memory encoding. I argue that although adults have minimal conscious control over the activation of visual perspective-computation and processing of participantoriented gaze, the efficient mindreading system shows some flexibility.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Apperly, Ian
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Psychology
Subjects:GN Anthropology
GT Manners and customs
HM Sociology
HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
RE Ophthalmology
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3070
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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