Study:Physical condition alters perception

June 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: Boosting your body for lift off: NASA's One-Year Mission investigates the metabolism

Related Stories

Since Katrina: NASA advances storm models, science

August 21, 2015

On Aug. 28, 2005, the National Hurricane Center issued a public notice warning people in New Orleans of "devastating damage expected...power outages will last for weeks...persons...pets...and livestock left exposed to the ...

Recommended for you

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

0 comments

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.