Perceived Momentum Influences Responsibility Judgments

Jeffrey R. Parker, Iman Paul, Nicholas Reinholtz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This work examined how people judge the responsibility of sequential events (e.g., correct/incorrect guesses) for overall outcomes (e.g., winning/losing a trivia game). People are found to perceive momentum, even in contexts where it cannot exist (i.e., sequences of independent events), which leads them to expect streaks to continue. Events that break those streaks (e.g., an incorrect guess after a series of correct guesses) are more unexpected and, thus, held more responsible for overall outcomes. How these findings contribute to the contemporary understanding of responsibility judgments is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
StateAccepted/In press - 2019


  • Causal reasoning
  • Perceived momentum
  • Responsibility judgments


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