Perceptions of causality are constructed

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Chapter 5 endnote 52, from How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context is:

Nothing about my encounter with the snake tells me that I was an architect of the whole experience. [...] Nonetheless, people actively construct the temporal order of events.

Even if you and I had access to the actual chain of events as they occurred in our brains, we would perceive the chain of cause and effect using our beliefs about causality. People actively construct their perceptions of the temporal order of events and experience key events in the order that matches their theories of causality, even when they do not match the actual temporal ordering of events. Causal beliefs about ordering influence this perception, rather than the other way around.[1]


Notes on the Notes

  1. Bechlivanidis, Christos, and David A. Lagnado. 2013. "Does the 'why' tell us the 'when'?" Psychological Science 24 (8): 1563-1572.