Fitzpatrick V, Pasnak R, Tyer Z E, 1982, "The effect of familiar size at familiar distances" Perception 11(1) 85 – 91
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The effect of familiar size at familiar distances
Virginia Fitzpatrick, Robert Pasnak, Zita E Tyer
Received 23 January 1981, in revised form 12 June 1981
Abstract. The effect of familiar size as a distance cue was tested with familiar objects at familiar distances. Experiment 1 showed that there were no uncontrolled distance cues available and that in their absence the retinal image did not affect depth or size perception. Under these conditions, size and distance judgments were essentially indeterminate and independent of each other. In experiment 2 a paradigm was employed which allowed a direct determination of whether equivalent changes either in size of a familiar object or in its true distance produced equivalent changes in its perceived distance. The results showed that there were no uncontrolled distance cues, and that subjects perceived the familiar object as having its familiar size. Moreover, changing the retinal image of the objects had almost exactly the same effect on their perceived distance as did changing their true distance. Hence, familiar size does effectively govern the perception of distance when there are no competing cues.
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