Publication Date

Spring 2021

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

J. Farley Norman (Director), Andrew Mienaltowski, and Matthew Shake

Degree Program

Department of Psychological Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science


The ability of 16 younger adults to visually perceive distances in depth was evaluated within three environmental contexts (indoors in the dark, indoors in the light, and outdoors). The observers' task was to bisect an 8m distance interval in all contexts using both monocular and binocular vision. In the outdoor environment (a natural grassy field), the observers' judgments indicated perceptual compression of farther distances similar to that obtained in many previous studies. In the indoor lighted environment (a 10.2 x 9.6m laboratory room), the observers' judgments were consistent with perceptual expansion of farther distances. Finally, there was a beneficial effect of binocular viewing upon the precision of the observers' repeated judgments, but the size of this effect was large only within the dark environment. The current results implicate that human observers use monocular sources of optical information, when available, to make distance judgments. When monocular sources are absent, however, observers use binocular sources of optical information to make distance judgments.


Cognition and Perception | Experimental Analysis of Behavior | Other Physics

Available for download on Friday, April 12, 2024