Action Effects on Visual Perception of Distances: A Multilevel Bayesian Meta-Analysis

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Description: Some studies suggested that action constraints influence visual perception of distances. For instance, the greater the effort to cover a distance, the longer people perceive this distance. Some authors questioned whether action constraint effects exist and, if so, whether they reflect genuine perceptual effects or demand characteristics. We conducted a multilevel Bayesian meta-analysis (k = 38, N = 728) which showed a medium overall action constraint effect on distance estimation (Hedge’s g = 0.5, 95% CrI [0.3, 0.71]). However, wearing a heavy object or not, which is the most controversial constraint manipulation, might not affect distance estimation. Contrary to predictions from the demand characteristic account, we observed anecdotal to moderate evidence against the moderating effect of research design (i.e., between- vs. within-subject designs) and measure (i.e., verbal, visual, and action-based measures). Overall, our results suggest that action constraints influence distance estimation and that demand characteristics cannot fully explain this influence.

License: CC0 1.0 Universal


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