Evidence of weight-based representations of gravitational motion

This study explores how an everyday life event like the free vertical fall of an object is represented by our cognitive system. We test two opposing hypotheses, namely that either our representations of physical events are consistent with the corresponding physical laws or that they are based on suboptimal heuristics. The results provide support for the hypothesis that our representations of vertical free fall are driven by a suboptimal weight-speed heuristic by which, inconsistent with predictions from physics, relatively heavy objects fall much faster than relatively light objects. The results of the present study suggest that our representations of physical phenomena are not generally consistent with physical laws.


Read the article:  https://doi.org/10.1037/xhp0000956