2004 volume 33(3) pages 277 – 291

Cite as:
Shim J, Carlton L G, Kim J, 2004, "Estimation of lifted weight and produced effort through perception of point-light display" Perception 33(3) 277 – 291

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Estimation of lifted weight and produced effort through perception of point-light display

Jaeho Shim, Les G Carlton, Jitae Kim

Received 5 August 2002, in revised form 3 July 2003; published online 24 March 2004

Abstract. It has been shown that human observers can estimate the weight of a box from the observation of a point-light display of a lifting motion. We asked observers to report the weight of the box and the effort produced by five lifters ranging in size and strength to determine if observers can perceive lifter size. In experiment 1, five or six weights from each of five lifters were shown to fourteen observers in a random order. Observers showed less error in estimating the amount of effort each lifter produced than in estimating the actual weight of the box. In experiment 2, the lifters were presented individually to forty observers to remove any effect observing a previous lift might have had on estimating the subsequent lift by a different lifter. The results showed an improvement in estimated weight but not in estimated effort. In experiment 3, the actual size of the lifters was given to thirty-four observers, and the estimations of both weight and effort improved. In experiment 4, observers did not improve when observing practice trials and estimating either only weight or only effort. The results from the four experiment s suggest that observers are more sensitive to lifter's effort than to the weight lifted, and that observers tend to use changes in the velocity profile of the lift when making their estimates.

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