Reviewing a fascinating range of evidence, Y. Jenny Xiao, Geraldine Coppin, and Jay J. Van Bavel (this issue) propose reciprocal links between intergroup psychology and perception. In so doing they consolidate an emerging body which resurrects and refreshes the “New Look” stance that social needs and expectations have a top-down influence on perceptions, not only social perceptions but also perceptions of the physical world. While some of the original results supporting the New Look argument, such as that poor children overestimate the size of coins (Bruner & Goodman, 1947), have been challenged (e.g., Postman, Bronson, & Gropper, 1953), recent neuroimaging results have identified new evidence for identifying top-down influences on low-level perceptual processes (see Hillyard, Vogel, & Luck, 1998), warranting a fresh look at the New Look. In addition to the distinctions that Xiao et al. emphasize, we contend that some well-established distinctions among component processes of perception would afford theoretical and empirical progress in this venture.
Fincher, Katrina, Paul Tetlock, and Michael Morris. "Look again: The value in distinguishing three processes underlying social-perceptual effects." Psychological Inquiry 27, no. 4 (2016): 306-309.
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