The independence of size perception and distance perception
Research on distance perception has focused on environmental sources of information, which have been well documented; in contrast, size perception research has focused on familiarity or has relied on distance information. An analysis of these two parallel bodies of work reveals their lack of equivalence. Furthermore, definitions of familiarity need environmental grounding, specifically concerning the amount of size variation among different tokens of an object. To demonstrate the independence of size and distance perception, subjects in two experiments were asked to estimate the sizes of common objects from memory and then to estimate both the sizes and the distances of a subset of such objects displayed in front of them. The experiments found that token variation was a critical variable in the accuracy of size estimations, whether from memory or with vision, and that distance had no impact at all on size perception. Furthermore, when distance information was good, size had no effect on distance estimation; in contrast, at far distances, the distances to token variable or unknown objects were estimated with less accuracy. The results suggest that size perception has been misconceptualized, so that the relevant research to understand its properties has not been undertaken. The size-distance invariance hypothesis was shown to be inadequate for both areas of research.
- Bolles, R. C., &Bailey, C. (1956). Importance of object recognition in size constancy.Journal of Experimental Psychology,51, 222–225. CrossRef
- Brunswik, E. (1956).Systematic and representative design in experimental psychology. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Cutting, J. E. (1998). Information from the world around us. In J. Hochberg (Ed.),Perception and cognition at century’s end (pp. 71–97). San Diego: Academic Press.
- Cutting, J. E., &Vishton, P.M. (1995). Perceiving layout and knowing distances: The integration, relative potency, and contextural use of different information about depth. In W. Epstein & S. Rogers (Eds.),Perception of space and motion (pp. 71–118). San Diego: Academic Press.
- Epstein, W. (1961). The known-size-apparent-distance hypothesis.American Journal of Psychology,74, 333–346. CrossRef
- Epstein, W. (1977).Stability and constancy in visual perception. New York: Wiley.
- Gillam, B. J. (1995). The perception of spatial layout from static optical information. In W. Epstein & S. Rogers (Eds.),Perception of space and motion (pp. 23–70). San Diego: Academic Press. CrossRef
- Gillam, B. J. (1998). Illusions at century’s end. In J. Hochberg (Ed.),Perception and cognition at century’s end (pp. 97–137). San Diego: Academic Press.
- Haber, R.N. (1983). Stimulus information and processing mechanisms in visual space perception. In J. Beck, B. Hope, & A. Rosenfeld (Eds.),Human and machine vision (pp. 157–235). New York: Academic Press.
- Haber, R.N. (1986). Toward a theory of the perceived layout of scenes. In A. Rosenfeld (Ed.),Human and machine vision II (pp. 109–148). New York: Academic Press.
- Haber, R. N., &Haber, L. (1991). Why mobile robots need a spatial memory. In P. S. Schenker (Ed.),Sensor fusion III: 3D perception and recognition (Proceedings of SPIE, Vol. 1383, pp. 411–424). Bellingham, WA: SPIE Press.
- Haber, R. N., &Levin, C. A. (1989). The lunacy of moon watching: Some preconditions on explanations of the moon illusion. In M. Hershenson (Ed.),The moon illusion (pp. 299–318). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
- Hershenson, M. (1992). Size-distance invariance: Kinetic invariance is different from static invariance.Perception & Psychophysics,51, 541–548.
- Hershenson, M. (1999).Visual space perception. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Hochberg, J. E. (1971). Perception: II. Space and movement. In J. W. Kling & L. A. Riggs (Eds.),Woodworth and Schlosberg’s Experimental psychology. New York: Holt, Reinhart & Winston.
- Ittleson, W.H. (1960).Visual space perception. New York: Springer-Verlag.
- Kilpatrick, F. P., &Ittelson, W. H. (1953). The size-distance invariance hypothesis.Psychological Review,64, 188–192.
- Levin, C. A., &Haber, R. N. (1993). Visual angle as a determinant of perceived interobject distance.Perception & Psychophysics,54, 250–259.
- Sedgwick, H. (1986). Space perception. In K. R. Boff, L. Kaufman, & J. P. Thomas (Eds.),Handbook of perception and human performance (Vol. 1, pp. 1–57). New York: Wiley.
- Toye, R. C. (1986). The effect of viewing position on the perceived layout of space.Perception & Psychophysics,40, 85–92.
- The independence of size perception and distance perception
Perception & Psychophysics
Volume 63, Issue 7 , pp 1140-1152
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links
- Industry Sectors