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The perceptual effect of eyespots: or the devil may seem closer than she really is

Dziurawiec, S. and Deregowski, J.B. (2007) The perceptual effect of eyespots: or the devil may seem closer than she really is. Australian Journal of Psychology, 59 (2). pp. 101-107.

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The effect of eyespots and their positioning on adults' judgments of the perceived headings of depicted creatures was examined. Ninety-three adults saw 78 drawings comprising six sets, with each set consisting of one eyeless, eight monocular and four binocular creatures. Results indicated that judgments of the perceived direction of the creatures' travel were affected by the presence of eyespots. The effect was such that eyed stimuli veered towards the observer. This effect was, however, dependent on eyespot location, being strongest for monocular creatures when eyespots were on the lower parts of the depicted heads. For binocular creatures it was stronger when the eyes were on the horizontal line than when they were on the vertical line. Responses were also dependent upon the type of depicted creature. The implications of these results for understanding perception of pictures are discussed.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Psychology
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Copyright: Taylor and Francis
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