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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Sep 3;110(36):14580-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1221454110. Epub 2013 Aug 19.

Sight over sound in the judgment of music performance.

Author information

1
Department of Management Science and Innovation, Faculty of Engineering Science, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom. c.tsay@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Social judgments are made on the basis of both visual and auditory information, with consequential implications for our decisions. To examine the impact of visual information on expert judgment and its predictive validity for performance outcomes, this set of seven experiments in the domain of music offers a conservative test of the relative influence of vision versus audition. People consistently report that sound is the most important source of information in evaluating performance in music. However, the findings demonstrate that people actually depend primarily on visual information when making judgments about music performance. People reliably select the actual winners of live music competitions based on silent video recordings, but neither musical novices nor professional musicians were able to identify the winners based on sound recordings or recordings with both video and sound. The results highlight our natural, automatic, and nonconscious dependence on visual cues. The dominance of visual information emerges to the degree that it is overweighted relative to auditory information, even when sound is consciously valued as the core domain content.

KEYWORDS:

cognition; communication; decision making; evaluation; social perception

PMID:
23959902
PMCID:
PMC3767512
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1221454110
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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