CogSci 2020 presentation

Our paper “Social influence and informational independence” will be presented as a poster at the CogSci 2020 conference. A preprint of the paper is available at Abstract: We frequently use social information when making decisions. For instance, other people may know more about a problem than we do, so we might update our initial beliefs in light of their opinions. The epistemic value of these social cues depends in part on their informational independence. People should thus be sensitive to nonindependence in their weighting of social information. However, the current literature yields conflicting results. In one recent study, participants valued social information less when it was nonindependent; in another, participants were insensitive to nonindependence. We identify possible causes of this inconsistency, and present an experimental paradigm that aims to fill these gaps. Then, in a study (N=200) with pre-registered hypotheses and analyses, we find that participants were not sensitive to cue dependence. We highlight the relevance of this finding for the modern media context, where nonindependence of both traditional and social media sources can lead to the spread of bias or false belief.

New paper: Coordinating attention requires coordinated senses

Battich, L., Fairhurst, M., & Deroy, O. (2020). Coordinating attention requires coordinated senses. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. There is more to joint attention than meets the eye! Playing tennis, singing together, ordering a cake: we effortlessly coordinate each other’s attention towards a common focus in rich multisensory ways. Here we show in detail how the combination of multiple senses not only facilitates visual coordination, but is even necessary to certain uses of joint attention. We distinguish two ways in which non-visual senses contribute to joint attention: (1) they facilitate the coordination of visual attention and target detection through spatial and temporal; (2) they are necessary to extend social coordination to non-visual targets and amodal properties of objects and events in the world. A multisensory approach to joint attention bridges the fields of social attention and cognition (which remains mainly focused on vision) and crossmodal and multisensory attention (which remains focused on the individual) and highlights directions for future experimental research in both areas. Taking into account the role of different sensory modalities during joint attention has also potential implications for social robotics, clinical diagnostics and theoretical debates on shared objectivity.