Document Detail

Eyeheight-scaled information about affordances: a study of sitting and stair climbing.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  2958585     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Previous work has shown that both the perceived and actual critical (maximum) heights of surfaces that afford "sitting on " and "climbing on" can be expressed as constant proportions of each actor's leg length. The current study provides evidence that these judgments of critical action boundaries are based on an existing source of size and distance information that is already scaled with reference to the actor's eyeheight. In Experiment 1 changes in judgments of "perceived eyeheight" (an index of the intrinsic scalar) as a function of viewing distance were shown to be highly correlated with changes in the maximum height that was perceived to afford sitting on or climbing on. In Experiments 2 and 3 observers wore 10-cm blocks and made judgments about whether the heights of various surfaces afforded sitting or climbing. The use of eyeheight-scaled information as the basis for their estimates predicted the obtained pattern of errors in these judgments. With a modicum of experience wearing the blocks, however, observers were able to retune accurately their critical action boundary to a degree that would not have been predicted from their consistent overestimation of the height of the block on which they were standing. These results have implications for understanding how observers obtain information about their specific action boundary.
L S Mark
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance     Volume:  13     ISSN:  0096-1523     ISO Abbreviation:  J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform     Publication Date:  1987 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1987-11-10     Completed Date:  1987-11-10     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7502589     Medline TA:  J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  361-70     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056.
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MeSH Terms
Body Height*
Leg / anatomy & histology
Motor Skills*
Visual Perception*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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