Hypothesis awareness confounds asynchronous control conditions in indirect measures of the rubber hand illusion

Lush, P, Seth, A K and Dienes, Z (2021) Hypothesis awareness confounds asynchronous control conditions in indirect measures of the rubber hand illusion. Royal Society Open Science, 8 (11). a210911 1-14. ISSN 2054-5703

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Abstract

Reports of changes in experiences of body location and ownership following synchronous tactile and visual stimulation of fake and real hands (rubber hand (RH) effects) are widely attributed to multisensory integration mechanisms. However, existing control methods for subjective report measures (asynchronous stroking and control statements) are confounded by participant hypothesis awareness; the report may reflect response to demand characteristics. Subjective report is often accompanied by indirect (also called ‘objective’ or ‘implicit’) measures. Here, we report tests of expectancies for synchronous ‘illusion’ and asynchronous ‘control’ conditions across two pre-registered studies (n = 140 and n = 45) for two indirect measures: proprioceptive drift (a change in perceived hand location) and skin conductance response (a measure of physiological arousal). Expectancies for synchronous condition measures were greater than for asynchronous conditions in both studies. Differences between synchronous and asynchronous control condition measures are therefore confounded by hypothesis awareness. This means indirect measures of RH effects may reflect compliance, bias and phenomenological control in response to demand characteristics, just as for subjective measures. Valid control measures are required to support claims of a role of multisensory integration for both direct and indirect measures of RH effects.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2021 06:46
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2022 13:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/102300

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
The Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science 2019-2021 Leading-edge consciousness science and its application to psychological and neurological healthG2608SACKLER-DR MORTIMER AND THERESA SACKLER FOUNDATIONUnset