Distances on hills look farther than distances on flat ground: Evidence from converging measures
Distances on hills are judged as farther than when the same distance is presented on the flat ground. The hypothesized reason for this difference is because perception is influenced by the increased effort required to walk up a hill than to walk the same distance on flat ground. Alternatively, distances presented up a hill might be judged as farther for other, nonperceptual reasons such as bias from demand characteristics. To test whether distances on hills are perceived as farther or are merely judged as farther, we used a variety of measures, including visual matching and blindwalking tasks, and found similar effects across all measures. This convergence is consistent with a perceptual explanation. Second, we mined our data with the goal of making recommendations for future research on this paradigm. Although all of the perceptual measures used showed similar effects, visual matching was the only measure that had good intrasubject reliability. We recommend that future research on this action-specific effect could use any measure unless the research is geared towards individual differences, in which case, only the visual matching measure of perceived distance should be used.
KeywordsPerception action Distance perception Embodied perception Reliability
- Cohen, J. (2013). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. New York, NY: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Loomis, J. M., & Philbeck, J. W. (2008). Measuring spatial perception with spatial updating and action. In Carnegie Symposium on Cognition, 2006, Pittsburgh, PA, US: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- MacLennan, R. N. (1993). Interrater reliability with SPSS for Windows 5.0. The American Statistician, 47(4), 292–296.Google Scholar
- Witt, J. K. (in press). Action Potential Influences Spatial Perception: Evidence for Genuine Top-Down Effects on Perception. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. doi:10.3758/s13423-016-1184-5
- Witt, J. K., Proffitt, D. R., & Epstein, W. (2005). Tool use affects perceived distance, but only when you intend to use it. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Performance and Perception, 31(5), 880.Google Scholar