Paper in Psychological Research
  • Predebon, J. (2006). Decrement of the Müller-Lyer and Poggendorff illusions: the effects of inspection and practice. Psychological Research, 70: 384-394.

    Five experiments assessed the decline or decrement in illusion magnitude for the wings-out form and the combined or Brentano form of the Müller-Lyer illusion, and for the Poggendorff illusion. Judgments were obtained under conditions of either continuous or intermittent inspection of the illusion figure. In the continuous-inspection conditions observers scanned the illusion figure during the inter-trial intervals whereas in the intermittent-inspection conditions they did not. Substantial illusion decrement was found in all continuous-inspection conditions and in intermittent conditions with short inter-trial intervals (upto 20 s) but not with longer inter-trial intervals. However, intermittent-inspection with a long inter-trial interval (40 s) produced illusion decrement but only when observers were instructed during the decrement session to ignore the wings, and pay attention to the shaft, of the Müller-Lyer figure. Taken together, the pattern of results does not support the claim that illusion decrement is primarily a product of practice or repeated trials.