The Size Perception of Arrays
AuthorBoswell, Alexandria M.
AdvisorCaplovitz, Gideon P.
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How do people judge the size of perceptually grouped objects? Experiment 1 examined how array element size influences the array's perceived size. Experiment 2 examined how the orientation of triangular elements influences an array's perceived size. Experiment 3 examined how well the results of the previous experiments would generalize to other array shapes. Experiments 4 and 5 investigated what effect a non- uniform distribution of element centroids may have. Results: the size of the array elements has no influence on the perceived size of the array itself. This suggests that either the midpoint or centroid of the elements is used as a reference point forconstructing the perceived size of the array. The results of the second experiment demonstrated that it is the center of gravity and not the midpoint of the elements that is used. In contrast, when the sizes of two explicitly defined circles are compared, one with a thick outline and one with a thin outline, subjects match the sizes based on the radius of the inner edge of the circles and not the center of the outline contour. Conclusions: the perceived size of a circular array is based on the distance between the center of the array and the centroid of the array elements.