The Integrity of Motivated Vision: A Reply to Gilchrist, 2020

Perception 50 (4):287-93 (2021)
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In the September 2020 edition of Perception, Alan Gilchrist published an editorial entitled “The Integrity of Vision” (Gilchrist, 2020). In it, Gilchrist critiques motivated perception research. His main points are as follows: (1) Motivated perception is compromised by experimental demand: Results do not actually show motivated perception but instead reflect subjects’ desires to comply with inferred predictions. (2) Motivated perception studies use designs that make predictions obvious to subjects. These transparent designs conspire with experimental demand to yield confirmatory but compromised results. (3) Motivated perception research lacks guiding theory and cannot explain what appear to be contradictory results. (4) Motivated perception presents an unsupportable assault upon the impermeability of perception. The present commentary responds to these four assertions.

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Dustin Stokes
University of Utah


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