Prediction involves two stages: Evidence from visual-world eye-tracking

Ruth Corps, Charlotte Brooke, Martin J. Pickering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Comprehenders often predict what they are going to hear. But do they make the best predictions possible? We addressed this question in three visual-world eye-tracking experiments by asking when comprehenders consider perspective. Male and female participants listened to male and female speakers producing sentences (e.g., I would like to wear the nice…) about stereotypically masculine (target: tie; distractor: drill) and feminine (target: dress, distractor: hairdryer) objects. In all three experiments, participants rapidly predicted semantic associates of the verb. But participants also predicted consistently – that is, consistent with their beliefs about what the speaker would ultimately say. They predicted consistently from the speaker’s perspective in Experiment 1, their own perspective in Experiment 2, and the character’s perspective in Experiment 3. This consistent effect occurred later than the associative effect. We conclude that comprehenders consider perspective when predicting, but not from the earliest moments of prediction, consistent with a two-stage account.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104298
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
Early online date21 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • prediction
  • perspective-taking
  • gender-stereotyping
  • visual world-paradigm
  • language comprehension


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