Burnham D K, 1983, "Apparent relative size in the judgement of apparent distance" Perception 12(6) 683 – 700
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Apparent relative size in the judgement of apparent distance
Denis K Burnham
Received 24 March 1983
Abstract. In experiment 1 judgements of the apparent distance of comparison figures (squares or triangles) were obtained under reduction conditions. These comparison figures were either shaped the same as or different from equidistant standard figures, and were half, equal to, or double the area of the standard figures. Apparent distance was found to be a linear function of the relative area of the comparison figure both in same-shape and different-shape stimulus pair conditions. In addition, apparent distance was found to be a function of perceived area, because in different-shape conditions triangles were generally seen to be closer than squares even when the real area of the standard and comparison was equal. The results of experiment 2 and 3 provide some evidence that the effect of different shapes of standard and comparison on apparent distance is due to the observers' perception of the height rather than the area of figures. The series of experiments shows that the traditional transactionalists' explanation of relative size as a cue for distance is inadequate.
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