What is it about?

Self-executed action typically produce an illusion in the executor, in which the time between the action and its outcome is shortened. We have shown for the first time that this effect does not pertain only to physical actions, but to social actions as well. In addition, our data show that also observing someone else performing an action leads to the same temporal illusion, but only when direct visual information is accessible.

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Why is it important?

For the first time, this research shows that illusory temporal compression occurs when something we say (rather than do) causes the outcome, and therefore provides new insights into how beliefs about causality affect the perception of time. These findings also contribute to our understanding of how agency is experienced over outcomes produced by vocal actions in the context of interaction with human and artificial agents, promoting an efficient design of the latter.


Performing research and writing this article has been very satisfying, whilst provided opportunity to co-author with very experienced researchers. I hope this contribution will get increased interest from readers, who can become passionate about motor control and action planning, now with increased understanding that we do not only act in a physical world, but also in a complex social environment.

Dr. Luca Pascolini
University of East Anglia

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Words of agency: Executed and observed vocal actions induce a temporal binding effect., Journal of Experimental Psychology Human Perception & Performance, December 2021, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/xhp0000967.
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