TitleThe tipping point
NameCholewiak, Steven A. (author), Singh, Manish (chair), Feldman, Jacob (internal member), Kowler, Eileen (internal member), Fleming, Roland (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Movement, Psychology of ,
DescriptionVision research generally focuses on the currently visible surface properties of objects, such as color, texture, luminance, orientation, and shape. In addition, however, observers can also visually predict the physical behavior of objects, which often requires inferring the action of hidden forces, such as gravity and support relations. One of the main conclusions from the naive physics literature is that people often have inaccurate physical intuitions; however, more recent research has shown that with dynamic simulated displays, observers can correctly infer physical forces (e.g., timing hand movements to catch a falling ball correctly takes into account Newton’s laws of motion). One ecologically important judgment about physical objects is whether they are physically stable or not. This research project examines how people perceive physical stability and addresses (1) How do visual estimates of stability compare to physical predictions? Can observers track the influence of specific shape manipulations on object stability? (2) Can observers match stability across objects with different shapes? How is the overall stability of an object estimated? (3) Are visual estimates of object stability subject to adaptation effects? Is stability a perceptual variable? The experimental findings indicate that: (1) Observers are able to judge the stability of objects quite well and are close to the physical predictions on average. They can track how changing a shape will affect the physical stability; however, the perceptual influence is slightly smaller than physically predicted. (2) Observers can match the stabilities of objects with different three-dimensional shapes -- suggesting that object stability is a unitary dimension -- and their judgments of overall stability are strongly biased towards the minimum critical angle. (3) The majority of observers exhibited a stability adaptation aftereffect, providing evidence in support of the claim that stability may be a perceptual variable.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Steven A. Cholewiak
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.