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: Gun deaths twice as high among African-Americans as white citizens in US

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA's Maven spacecraft reaches Mars this weekend

Sep 17, 2014

Mars, get ready for another visitor or two. This weekend, NASA's Maven spacecraft will reach the red planet following a 10-month journey spanning 442 million miles (711 million kilometers).

NASA HS3 instrument views two dimensions of clouds

Sep 16, 2014

NASA's Cloud Physics Lidar (CPL) instrument, flying aboard an unmanned Global Hawk aircraft in this summer's Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel, or HS3, mission, is studying the changing profile of the atmosphere ...

Mysterious quasar sequence explained

Sep 10, 2014

Quasars are supermassive black holes that live at the center of distant massive galaxies. They shine as the most luminous beacons in the sky across the entire electromagnetic spectrum by rapidly accreting ...

Recommended for you

Cooling of dialysis fluids protects against brain damage

1 hour ago

While dialysis can cause blood pressure changes that damage the brain, cooling dialysis fluids can protect against such effects. The findings come from a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American So ...

User comments : 0