Study:Physical condition alters perception

Jun 15, 2006

University of Virginia researchers say they've determined people's physical condition affects how they view their environment.

The scientists investigated the impact of fatigue, physical ability, and potential bodily endangerment on how we perceive our environment. They found people have a natural tendency to view hills as steeper when they are tired, less physically able, or carrying a heavy load. Likewise, inclines appear greater and the distance to the ground appears farther when there is a perceived risk of injury.

The author of the study -- psychology professor Dennis Proffitt -- attributes that perceptual variance to the instinctive need to conserve energy and protect ourselves from harm.

"The visually specified layout of the environment is modulated in perception in ways that promote effective, efficient, and safe behavior," said Proffitt.

The research is detailed in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Audiologist offers tips for better speech and hearing

Related Stories

Robot walker for elderly people in public spaces

21 hours ago

Elderly people with walking difficulties are often intimidated by busy public places. This led an EU research project to develop a robot walker to guide them around shopping centres, museums and other public ...

Bacteria cooperate to repair damaged siblings

May 21, 2015

A University of Wyoming faculty member led a research team that discovered a certain type of soil bacteria can use their social behavior of outer membrane exchange (OME) to repair damaged cells and improve ...

Earthquakes reveal deep secrets beneath East Asia

May 14, 2015

A new work based on 3-D supercomputer simulations of earthquake data has found hidden rock structures deep under East Asia. Researchers from China, Canada, and the U.S. worked together to publish their results ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.