Monday, December 6, 2010

TSRM Bleg #2

Also, have there been any publications anywhere that take up the TSRM strategy for explaining visual illusions?  I have searched the journal Ecological Psychology with "illusion" and "visual illusion" and found nothing promising.  Google scholar doesn't help either.  Nor does PsychInfo. 

I can only say that "To my knowledge, there are no publications that take up the TSRM strategy", but I hate to go with weak claims like that.


  1. It's possible we all took Gibson seriously and didn't bother studying illusions very much. I tried a Google search for 'illusions' in papers that cite TSRM but didn't see anything obvious.

  2. I'm actually writing up a short discussion piece and it seems to me that EPists are of two minds about illusions. There is the dismissive attitude that is pretty familiar, then there are (apparently) scattered attempts to address them. The Runeson paper on the Ames room is an instance of the latter case; the treatment by TSRM is another. TSRM say some pretty negative things about illusions just before they offer a strategy for dealing with illusions.

    So, it seems TSRM want to have it both ways. These aren't important, but here's how you have to go about dealing with them. I just don't see anyone taking up the TSRM strategy for dealing with illusions.

    But, thanks for a run at this question.

  3. Having it both ways is a little harsh. I think noting the reasons why illusions shouldn't be your primary theoretical or empirical material is one thing, and presenting a way of thinking about them ecologically given that you can make them happen and you might want to address them, are two separate things. That's not so much having it both ways as being thorough.

    Runeson's analysis is, I admit, an excellent example of the payoff should an eco-psych researcher want to invest time in illusions; but we also have plenty of other things to keep us busy that we think are good primary material.

  4. Yes, but why wouldn't EPists "eat the cognitivist's lunch" if they could? That is the tone that TSRM set:
    "There is perhaps no topic more representative of the superficiality of established thinking about perception as the topic of error. The much-worked claim that "illusions" and "failures of perception" are instances of failed inference (e.g., Fodor and Pylyshyn, Section 2.5) has about as much intellectual force as a cough in the night. (Turvey, Shaw, Reed, and Mace, 1981, p. 275)."

    TSRM are a little harsh there, right?

  5. I guess that's not quite I meant; I think 'having it both ways' isn't what they're doing, rather they're being thorough. The former is, I think, an unfair analysis (rather than just being a bit mean, which is fine :)

  6. Ok, not a big deal. I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this.

    But how about that assumption (1)? What's up with that?