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The Role of Context in Action Perception and Understanding Social Situations Anjali; Dudarev, Veronica; Enns, James T. 2020-04

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The Role of Context in Action Perception and  Understanding Social SituationsAnjali, Veronica Dudarev, James T. EnnsDepartment of Psychology, University of British Columbia Humans are tuned to detect an understanding of social situations, yet it remains unclear what social cues and contextual information they require to fully grasp these social situations. Research (Juvrud, 2019) suggests the importance of contextual information when understanding action perception, even in infants. Is the role of context functional in the interpretation of social situations?IntroductionInves t iga te whether con tex tua l information effects an individual's ability to make sense of social situations.Explore if relevant contextual training facilitates an individual's perception of congruency between human actions.  ObjectiveN = 44 UBC undergraduate studentsThe study employed a 2 x 2 design with the type of training [relevant, irrelevant] provided to the participants as a between-subjects variable, and action congruency [mixed, original] and pre- and post-training trials being a within-subjects variable.The dependent variable was the differential rating, which was calculated by the averages of ratings on the pre(original – mixed) and post (original – mixed) training.DesignA short 3-second video clips of white f igures performing col laborat ive (original video) or uncollaborative (mixed video) actions with each other. A connectedness scale measuring the rating of connectedness, with 1 = low connection between the actions of the figures, and 5 = high connection. MaterialsPre-trial: videos depicting original or mixed actions between two individualsTraining: Relevant or Irrelevant [condition]Post-trial: videos depicting depicting original or mixed actions between two individuals.MethodologyRelevant t ra in ing condi t ion (manipulated): labeling the video with relevant information regarding the action of the figure. (A)I rrelevant training condit ion (control): labeling each video with irrelevant information (B)ConditionsA BFig 1. (A) Relevant training video labeled with “One person carries a heavy object”. (B) Irrelevant training video labeled with “This was filmed in Downtown, Vancouver”. ResultsThe graph (Fig 2.) depicts a higher differential rating in post-training for those in the relevant training condition. It also reveals that with either training condition, participants had their rating distance above 0 the in pre-training trials. This indicates that while participants were somewhat able to differentiate between mixed vs. original videos even without context, providing them with relevant context significantly enhanced this ability to differentiate. ConclusionA 2 (training: relevant vs. irrelevant) x 2 (pre vs. post training) repeated measures ANOVA was performed on the rating distance (Fig 2.). It r e v e a l e d a s i g n i f i c a n t interaction, F(1,42) = 6.11, p = 0.018. Fig 2. Differential rating depicted in pre- and post-training in both conditions. 

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