The Perception of Causality: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Perception of Causality

1st Edition

By Albert Michotte


452 pages

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Originally published in 1963, this is a classic work on the psychology of perception. By means of suitable patterns on a partly concealed rotating disc Michotte was able to give the impression of objects in movement; and where certain conditions of speed, position, and time-interval were satisfied, his subjects received the impression of a causal interaction between two objects – for example, the impression that one object has ‘bumped into’ another (the ‘Launching Effect’) or is carrying it along (the ‘Entraining Effect’). In a further group of experiments Michotte studies the conditions in which moving objects look as though they are alive.

A large number of experiments are described, and on the basis of them Michotte formulates a theory as to the conditions in which causal impressions occur. He also compares his own views on causality with those of Hume, Maine de Biran, and Piaget.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Professor R.C. Oldfield. Preface to the English Edition. Translators’ Glossary. Author’s Note. Introduction. 1. The Problem 2. The Experimental Apparatus Mechanical Causality Part 1: The Launching Effect3. The Segregative Influence of the Objects 4. The Polarising Influence of the Objects 5. The Phenomenal Aspect of the Objects 6. Spatio-Temporal Integration 7. The Speeds and the Hierarchisation of the Movements 8. The Launching Effect seen as a Whole Part 2: The Entraining Effect 9. The Structural Organisation of the Entraining Effect 10. Launching-by-Expulsion 11. Propulsion 12. Animal Locomotion 13. Tactile-Kinaesthetic Perception of Mechanical Causality 14. Ampliation of the Movement Qualitative Causality 15. Movement of One Object linked with Qualitative Change in Another 16. The Linking of Qualitative Changes in Two Objects The Origin of the Idea of Causality 17. Critical Reflections on Different Theories Appendices 1. A Special Case of Propulsion: the Trace-making Effect 2. Theory of Phenomenal Causality. New Perspectives Commentary (by T.R. Miles). References. Index of Authors. Index of Subjects.

About the Series

Psychology Library Editions: Perception

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Psychology