The influence of location, ownership, and the presence of a coactor on the processing of objects

Anna Michelle McPhee, Merryn D. Constable, Elizabeth J Saccone, Timothy N Welsh

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Humans operate in complex environments where social interactions require individuals to constantly attend to people and objects around them. Despite the complexity of these interactions from a visuomotor perspective, humans can engage and thrive in social settings. The purpose of the current study was to examine the simultaneous influence of multiple social cues (i.e., ownership and the presence of a coactor) on the processing of objects. Participants performed an object-based compatibility task in the presence and absence of a coacting confederate. Participants indicated whether pictures of mugs (that were either self-owned or unowned) were upright or inverted. The pictures appeared at one of 2 locations (a near or far location relative to the participant) on a computer screen laid flat on (parallel to) the tabletop. When present, the coactor stood on the opposite side of the screen/table. Analysis of response times (RTs) indicated that the processing of objects was influenced by the object's ownership status, the presence of the coactor, and where the object was located on the screen. Specifically, RTs for pictures of self-owned mugs were shorter than unowned mugs, but only when the pictures were located at the near location. Further, the presence of a confederate resulted in shorter RTs for pictures located at the near but not the far location. These findings suggest that when objects were placed at the far location, the additional social cues of ownership and social context did not influence visuomotor processing of the objects. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
JournalCanadian Journal of Experimental Psychology
Early online date25 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Mar 2021


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