An Imputed Dissociation Might Be An Artifact: Further Evidence For The Generalizability Of The Observations Of Durgin, Et Al., 2010

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Acta Psychologica


We recently showed that palm board measures are systematically inaccurate for full-cue surfaces within reach of one's hand, whereas free-hand gestures and reaching actions are quite accurate for such surfaces (Durgin, Hajnal, Li, Tonge, & Stigliani, 2010). Proffitt and Zadra (2010) claim that our demonstration that palm boards are highly inaccurate is irrelevant to interpreting past and present findings concerning dissociations between verbal reports and palm board estimates. In their paper they offer a theoretical representation of the findings of Bhalla and Proffitt (1999) and argue that our analysis is incompatible with their account. We offer here an alternative account of the findings of Bhalla and Proffitt, based on their actual data (which are fully compatible with our original analysis). We further show how our account generalizes to more recent studies that continue (1) to mistakenly describe null statistical effects on (insensitive) palm boards as evidence of a “dissociation” from (more sensitive) verbal measures that show a similar relative magnitude of change and (2) to introduce uncontrolled demand characteristics.


This work is a postprint available courtesy of the author.