The Influence of Colour on the Size-Weight Illusion: Redefining Expectation
A size-weight illusion (SWI) occurs when a large object and small object of equal mass but different volume are lifted and the small object is perceived as heavier than the large object. All previous studies of the SWI used similar coloured objects and found that individuals initially use more force to lift the large object, compared to the small object but then use similar forces for the two objects on subsequent lifts. In contrast to the change in lifting forces over trials, the perceptual illusion stays consistent across all trials. The goal of the current study was to determine if introducing different colours for the SWI stimuli could alter participants’ expectations about the masses of the two objects and therefore modify the perceptual SWI. Participants lifted SWI stimuli that were either identical in colour or stimuli of different colour.