Sight-over-sound judgments of music performances are replicable effects with limited interpretability
Scannell, Daniel A.
Samuel A, Mehr
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CitationMehr SA, Scannell DA, Winner E (2018) Sight-over-sound judgments of music performances are replicable effects with limited interpretability. PLoS ONE 13(9): e0202075.
AbstractVirtuosi impress audiences with their musical expressivity and with their theatrical flair. How do listeners use this auditory and visual information to judge performance quality? Both musicians and laypeople report a belief that sound should trump sight in the judgment of music performance, but surprisingly, their actual judgments reflect the opposite pattern. In a recent study, when presented with 6-second videos of music competition performers, listeners accurately guessed the winners only when the videos were muted. Here, we successfully replicate this finding in a highly-powered sample but then demonstrate that the sight-over-sound effect holds only under limited conditions. When using different videos from comparable performances, in a forced-choice task, listeners' judgments were at or below chance. And when differences in performance quality were made clearer, listeners' judgments were most accurate when they could hear the music—without audio, performance was at chance. Sight therefore does not necessarily trump sound in the judgment of music performance.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:37612133
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