Experimental manipulations of personal control do not increase illusory pattern perception

Michiel van Elk, Paul Lodder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
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We report seven experiments to investigate the effects of control threat manipulations on different measures of illusory pattern perception: magical thinking (Study 1–3), conspiracy beliefs (Study 4), paranormal beliefs (Study 5) and agent detection (Study 6 and 7). Overall we did not find evidence for an effect of control threat on any of our relevant dependent measures. By using Bayesian analyses we obtained positive evidence for the null-hypothesis that an experimentally induced loss of control does not affect illusory pattern perception. Finally, by re-conducting a recent meta-analysis we found strong evidence for publication bias and a relatively small effect size for control-threat manipulations. Together, these results cast doubt on the potential efficacy of experimental autobiographical recall manipulations to manipulate feelings of control.
Original languageEnglish
Article number19
JournalCollabra: Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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