Timescale halo: Average-speed targets elicit more positive and less negative attributions than slow or fast targets

Ivan Hernandez, Jesse Lee Preston, Justin Hepler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research on the timescale bias has found that observers perceive more capacity for mind in targets moving at an average speed, relative to slow or fast moving targets. The present research revisited the timescale bias as a type of halo effect, where normal-speed people elicit positive evaluations and abnormal-speed (slow and fast) people elicit negative evaluations. In two studies, participants viewed videos of people walking at a slow, average, or fast speed. We find evidence for a timescale halo effect: people walking at an average-speed were attributed more positive mental traits, but fewer negative mental traits, relative to slow or fast moving people. These effects held across both cognitive and emotional dimensions of mind and were mediated by overall positive/negative ratings of the person. These results suggest that, rather than eliciting greater perceptions of general mind, the timescale bias may reflect a generalized positivity toward average speed people relative to slow or fast moving people.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere83320
JournalPloS one
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 8 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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