Slow Motion Increased Perceived Intent Aug 16, 2016 By Benjamin ConverseEugene M. CarusoZachary C. Burns Slow Motion Increased Perceived Intent To determine the appropriate punishment for a harmful action, people must often make inferences about the transgressor’s intent. In courtrooms and popular media, such inferences increasingly rely on video evidence, which is often played in “slow motion.” Four experiments (n = 1,610) involving real surveillance footage from a murder or broadcast replays of violent contact in professional football demonstrate that viewing an action in slow motion, compared with regular speed, can cause viewers to perceive an action as more intentional. This slow motion intentionality bias occurred, in part, because slow motion video caused participants to feel like the actor had more time to act, even when they knew how much clock time had actually elapsed. Four additional experiments (n = 2,737) reveal that allowing viewers to see both regular speed and slow motion replay mitigates the bias, but does not eliminate it. We conclude that an empirical understanding of the effect of slow motion on mental state attribution should inform the life-or-death decisions that are currently based on tacit assumptions about the objectivity of human perception. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Areas of focus Social Psychology Benjamin Converse I am an associate professor of public policy and psychology, with appointments in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, and the Department of Psychology. Read full bio Eugene M. Caruso Zachary C. Burns Related Content Benjamin Converse Next Week, Next Month, Next Year: How Perceived Temporal Boundaries Affect Initiation Expectations Research To move from commitment to action, planners must think about the future and decide when to initiate. We demonstrate that planners prefer to initiate on upcoming days that immediately follow a temporal boundary. Jump-starting early childhood education at home: Early learning, parent motivation, and public policy. Research By the time children begin formal schooling, their experiences at home have already contributed to large variations in their math and language development, and once school begins, academic achievement continues to depend strongly on influences outside of school. It is thus essential that educational reform strategies involve primary caregivers.