Cognitive and temperamental determinants of orientation illusions
The purpose of the study was to find the cognitive and temperamental predictors of susceptibility to the Poggendorff & Zöllner illusions. The cognitive predictors included Witkin’s field dependence-independence and the efficiency of Posner’s attentional networks: alerting, orienting, and executive control. The temperamental determinants were analyzed in the context of Strelau’s Regulative Theory of Temperament. 161 participants aged 20–33 (M = 24.73, SD = 3.32), including 89 women (55%), participated in the study. The results showed that there is no one universal mechanism that explains susceptibility to the examined illusions. Susceptibility to the Zöllner illusion was found to be related to both cognitive and temperamental predictors. This study found that people who were susceptible to the Zöllner illusion either had a field-dependent cognitive style that is characterized by a high level of the Endurance feature, or they had an efficient orienting network and a high level of Briskness. We also found that weak efficacy of the alerting network is a predictor of the Poggendorff illusion.