THE EFFECT OF VALUE
ON THE PERCEPTION OF DISTANCE
WALLACE W. PROPHET
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
The writer wirshe to emmpse hiLb appw itism aed tbhks to
all thIee bo Lasisted sad pided hii is thil study. Special tbfaks
go eo the mkere of the SIpenerery COemA tbe Dr. R. K. Waters,
Clhtiwm, Dr. J. Aadenrse, Dr. K. D. Hilckley, Dr. V. W. IhmmuM,
and Dr. 0. B. Themesm.
IEpecially, I wish to empr.eS m thaIen ad doIprt love *ad
apprelatiea to a wife, arah, vs helped in s may uys.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LI OF TABS A ILLUSTRATIONS . . . . . . .
I TIO . . . . . . . . .
Purpoee sad Background of Present Study
0-Variabls in Perception
Summry and Uneolved Issues
Hypothees for the Present Study
II. RESEARCH DESIGN AND POCEDUR . . . . . .
III. RESULTS . . . . . . . . . . .
Deductions from Hypothees
Statistical Evaluation of Deductions
IV. CONCLUSIONS AM SMAY . . . . . . .
BIBLIOGRAPRT . . . . . . . . . . . .
LIST Of ABLUU A ILLUITIATIO
1. Analysis of Vartaiee for AX, linocular and Moomular
Trials, Fet Value Conditie by . . . 27
2. Analysis of Va Laoa for AS, DLaoular mad Mmeoeular
Trials, Four Value CrnditCien by leaso ie Loos 27
3. MeUm As In MillIe Sv e Four Value ConditLaeu
ir Baoculas Jad me ar Trial . . . 28
4. CmparLaem of nla AX for Neural and CambaLud Value
Cnditioms r llawular and MonoeuLar Trials . 29
5. Analysis of WVeleme foer linoeular and Momeular
Trials, ThoMe TaLe 6aditIae by . . . 30
6. Analysis of Vafiame Jor l., limeoular and MHocular
Trials, Three Vaue Conditions by loenemic Sers. 30
7. Mlen CL in MilliAmer fer Thr m Value Canicteo
for Bimeular and Moular Trials . . . 3
8. CompariLoe of eano At for Iottral and Camb-md Value
Coeudti em foe Migh and Low INem e Se ors . 34
9. Compuriaw of MeAn Al for neatral and CombLed Value
ConditLeme for Male and Frmle Sbjecs . . 35
1. aiutral Stimulu Figur . . . . . .... . 18
Purpose and Background of Present Study
The present study is an investigation of the role of value in
the perception of distance. It seeks to answer the question: IS
the accuracy of one's perception of distance influenced by value, the
personal relevance of the stimulus to the observer? The effect of
such a psychological variable on perception is a matter of lively
interest in psychology. This is indicated by the large amount of
space devoted to this subject in the literature of the past ten years.
Many definitions of perception have been proposed in psychology.
These may be generally divided into two type. The first type, the
oldest historically, treats perception as a process of combining
diverse sensory material. The second type of definition treat*
perception as the end-product of this process, experience or awareness,
and is often accompanied by a concern with the effect of such experience
or awreness on subsequent behavior of the perceiver. These two
view of perception are by no mans contradictory or mitually ex-
clusive, and the same theorist my, and frequently does, utilize both
in his treatment of perception. In discussing this point, Bruner
and Postman (5), who have contributed mich to the recent literature
on perception, designate those who strees perception as a process as
Formalists. and those who show greater concern with the effects of
experi ce e subquent behavior mad adjustment a FrMAtLitt.
The priesmt study pns both of thos positLn although It
wod Ibe re properly classified iuder the Fewmg position, in
that it msiks to deteraLts whether psrbhleoical wlue is one of the
parmesmer of the pereospsal prcsee in the peeesptim of itdtaene.
It also invoLves the FufgJlAtA list position, sie the mIaisome of
we h -a effeet will be Liafervd Efma the mubjet's behavior, his
settings of a vrlable stimmmi l a1 depth paroeption situation.
A eowalente for fw chascterisieg an ofganim's reispea
is that mployJd by Wooderth and Schloberg (24), the Emiliar
ferulatiea, := f(.O). This statemet seay that th re npermo (R)
of a orgnismi ii a Joite fuMtion of astimls (S) nd observer (0)
variablee, asd lives as three lenral types of variable with whish
te comeera ournelves in plyaelogical nrehah: saopemse or -vari-
ablem, stmilus or I-wmriables, mad obesrve or 6-w kablea.
As I-vorLabLea we measure m c thins as secureay, sped,
difficulty leval, probability, frequency, sad trUegth of respouee.
Theme en the deaftnd variables Ln psyesological raerrek.
The peremst study takL as its t-varLable the aoutracy of
as mettLif of the v rable stiLlel in the depth-pereip ti
I-mrLablee in peyebologicl researehb se thee coaeemed
with stimultu difecoeme. In the aswa. ef depth pereeptio the
-wvwarble awe sarMgs mad hne bamw strabld et uE ively. Th
opeatlon f sukh wrVakblem is met the rajer meems of the ptremt
study. They are handled essentially as control variables.
The 0-variables are those variable states of the observer
that influence his response atd result in different individuals
responding differently in identical stimulus situations. Factors
such as hunger, nsed, instruction, value, and attitude *ar among
the O-variables. The principal concern of the present study is with
the effect of value, an 0-vriable, upon the perception of distance.
0-Variables in Perception
In the study of perception, two distinct lines of research
are discernible. One line of research, that concerning the per-
caption of objects in the world about us, has been almost exclusively
occupied with the study of S-variables in perception. This approach
has reached its greatest refinaeint in the area of psychophysics.
The other Lune of research, thet concerning the perception of other
humn beings in social situations, has stressed the 0-variables in
Recently, however, a vigorous research moveent, falling
broadly within the realm of psychophysics, hae suggested the importance
of 0-variables, e.g., need and value, i such pe~eeption. Much of
this work stemi from the study of Bruner and Goodman (4). They
found that non-poor children overestimate the sixe of coins to a
significantly lesser degree than do poor children. They interpreted
this to mean that value produces an accentuating effect with the
resulting overestimtes of s ie, and that need causes a further
accentuation of the value stikmli. The accentuation effect was not
tund for eis estimate of mustal eardeard diss of t sane m i
as the oomee.
The Iraor-eaedm eperl asf t au r eted by Sarter aad
Seeelslr (7) who failed to esefirs the results of the previoe
emsreh, sweept i the a sem jkgmas made free meary. They
eseeLuded chet value mad msed my distort m-sry spyet but set
the pererptLo eft the object Ltsef.
This oestroversy led to several ineeemting variaties of the
wBmer-CGooda ezperLmmt. lamer and Poet (6) feed the per-
eaptual aeemnustie ph emmes the pe eepeos of both peiitively
ad martively valued stimli. They used a &ic with the dollar
sipn on it a the potiv wMlue stiumlu, nd a die with a mustAf
an it as the Meltive eals etfialue im jedgasM s of these dishes
were silptLiently larger than hees of a meutral disc bearing a
iqare with iut two diagemals.
The studies cited aove involve the opeMtiLo of wlues built
up by the subjots i uelamcrolledl faek n evme warytg period* ef
tin, La met sees o r my year. Is n fEart to control the
tiM variable in the value precee, Lambert, bleme, ad Wahtme (12)
ooeucted a study in hkich they built up the tvlue e*seciatlo of a
ypwre ely netral stimilus, aed iametited tiM effect of hts
eea rolbeed value oe perweeptl eemmsEtt&m. W ing with akildNea,
they ed the subjecti Maeeolitm a poehr chip, a )gourely mwtral
object, with sedy by use of a wlndmlg mablh rrnwirem After
tso days of Msuh Elife mme6t t the shild m Ma si m juidgm of
the chip. These sie jumerts wer esigfelen ly guLstr alm thmes
of 2 coitroi group who had not made the .zhip-candy aseociat. n. In
a further extension of the work, the chip-candr sascciation was
extLnguished, after which the size judgments dropped to tile same
level as those of the control group. upon reinstatement of tne
riuwrd the accentuatLon phenomenon was again noted.
Another study worth of note is that of Alhlcy, liarper, and
I;unyon (1). They investigated the effect of hypnotically Lnduced
economic states on coin-size judgments. The subjects were college
studer nt; from middle-class backgrounds. When Ln an bypnotically
induced economic stace of being "rich," the subjects' =ize-judgrients
of coins were signtficar c I -molier than jud; unts Emde in their
normal state. When hypnotically "poor," they judged c.oin as being
significantly larger than when in their normal state. The authors
concluded that need doez have an effect on percepctor,.
Most of the studies on perceptual accentuation have beer in
the realm of vision. However, Daikt and Lcvan 18) have demon-trated
the phcnoenon in a different modality. They found that children
juaged jars of candy to be significantly heavier than jars of sand
or sawdust whose weights were objectively equal to those of the Jarr
Eeam: (2) conducted another xpcrirment in which food objectE
served as the value-stimuli. His apparatus was a slid.: projector
that permitted the Zubject to adjust the iruma. so that it ,4as the
sane size aE the real food object, which w a present. i.f his bO
subjects, wl.o were 10-12 years of aoe, 51 s the Projected icage for
preferred deearts relatively arger then their getting for mna-
preferred dessects. B oeacluded that they perceived liked (valued)
feed objects as larger thea disliked (asn-valued) food objects.
Utilielai a similar apparatus, Smith (20) ought to diLcover
if there ma a relationship between personal adjustment and sie of
projected mages of fsee whben the subject ws told to adjust the
Iam~e to uhtever sLe he wished. li found that the better adjusted
of his subjects set the im l e sIe larger the did these who owre
loss well adjusted. This is an xeaple of perceptual accentuition
in a rather different context theb the previously metiornd studies,
since the subject bad as standard against which he ras to Judge his
settings. It sugets the possibility that a wide variety of
personality variables my effect our perceptions.
Another area of research conersing the effect of value on
perception se opened up by Foetma, Brner, and eSinnies (18) who
studied the effect of personal values, as measured by the Allport-
Verwa-Lindsey A tudy of ale en the recogfition threshold for
words imposed tacbistoseopically. They found that subjects were
able to recognize words from high value are at significantly
shorter exposures than wmrn usesuary for reaoguitioh of words from
low value a ea. They concluded that value results in a selective
sensitization for certain words in this situation.
As with the Brum r-Goodmn study this research has led to a
number of subseuent studies, the results of wSich have been both
corroberetive Mad emtuvdictory. Support for the Poetmt-Brruner-
MGinnies result has coer from the work of McGinatl (17), Postman
and Schneider (19), and Haigh and Fiske (10), all of whom utilized
similar experimental procedures.
Additional support, involving a different sense rodality,
was given by the atudy of Vanderplas and Blake (22), who found high
value words to be perceived more easily in the auditory reals as
Contradictory findings are reported by Mausner and Siegel
(15). Using postage stamps of differing value instead of words,
they failed to find a relationship between value and recognition
threshold when the stamps were exposed tachistoscopically.
The most damaing criticism of the Poston-Bruner-MNGinnies
study has core from Solomon and Howes (21), who felt that mere
frequency of occurrence of high value words is enough to account for
the lowered threshold for these words, without having to invoke value
as an explanatory factor.
A -ore subtle operation of 0-variables in perception has been
demonstrated in a study by McGinnies (17) who found that subjects
gave a galvanic skin response (GSR) to taboo or negatively valued
words when these words were exposed tachistoscopically at exposures
below the recognition-threshold. le also found that the recognition-
threshold was higher for taboo words than for non-taboo words of
similar structure. This led him to propose the mechanism of per-
ceptual defense that has also engendered considerable controversy in
In an effort to control the frequency criticism advanced by
Soloman and Howes (21), 3cCleery and Laaruc (16) established a
conditioned SIR to nomoen syllables, and thea expoed syllables
tachistoscopioally below rsopgition-tbrehold. They found that
the GOR appeared when the critical syllables wre exposd beles
recopition level. A later report by Lzarus and MeClery (13)
giwn further evidence of this phnonmM on.
In the reel of peychopbyica the reeeerch on psychological
scaling has led to the development of the Weber constant, the Vrber
ratio, or the Veber fraction as it is variously called.
In mo s psyThophysical research there has been the implicit
aseuption that the Weber coautant is solely a function of the
S-variables. 0-vrables have been ignored as possible factors in
determining tke fieness of our perceptual units.
Recently, Bevan and nAues (3) questioned the wisdom of
ignorLn these variables. On the basis of eo of the literature
previously cited here they formulatd the following hypothesis: "If
the value of paired stimulus-objects be eIanoed, then the accuracy
of differential estCiates involving them objects will, in like
manner, be increased."
The specific area choose in which to investigate this
hypothesis was differential judgmnts of distance. The subjects
were 49 undergraduate psychology students at snry University. A
modification of the laward-Dolsm depth pareeption appaatus, a
standard apparatus for measuring depth perception, wa s eed. This
apparatus is constructed in su-ch eam r thae awho the object looks
into the apparatus his field of view i restricted to two stimulus
figures seen against a white background. He is instructed to move
one of the figures, the variable (V), until it appears to be the same
distance from him as the other figure, the standard (St). Movement
of the V-figure toward or away from the subject is accomplished by
pulling on strings. The distance, V-St, gives an indication of the
error in the subject's depth perception. When the subject performs
this operation several times, the average error (AE) of these
settings gives an index of the accuracy of his depth perception.
Bevan and Dukes used two kinds of stimulus figures in their
experiment. As value stimuli they used $20 bills, and as neutral or
non-value stirmli they used green blotting paper whose dimensions
were identical with those of the currency. On the basis of their
errors in a preliminary session using the neutral figures, the subjects
were divided into two comparable groups in term of their mean AE and
mean constant error (CE). During a second session, the experimental
group made judgments utilizing the value stinuli, while the control
group made judgments with the neutral figures. Comparison of the two
groups during the second session showed that the mean AE for the
experimental group was significantly less than that for the control
group, the t ratio being 3.00 with 38 degrees of freedom. Thus, the
judgments of the value stimuli were significantly more accurate than
those for the non-value stiulti, indicating that value ie a signifi-
cant factor in determinin the accuracy of depth judgments. As a
possible explanation of this phenomenon, Bevan and Duke suggest that
". . by accentuating size, enhanced value, in effect, reduces
distance, thereby increasing accuracy of Jud1@-nts."
This study is another denstrration of the thesis that our
perceptions are not solely a function of S-varlables, but that one ust
take into account 0-variables if be is to specify fully the parameters
of the perceptual process. It is worthy of note at this point, that
whereas the previously meatloed studies pointed up the distorting
effects of 0-variables on perception, the study of Beven and Dukes
provides an example of the sharpening of perceptive powers or finenss
of discrimination by an 0-variable.
The studies previously cited have been concerned, in the min,
with demonstrating phenomena such as accentuation aed selective sensi-
tisation only in a gross all-or-motbi a sort of fashion. The question
of the relationship between aunt of value and the degree of accentu-
ation or sensitiution has received less attention. There are several
studies that bear on this point, bewever.
Another study by Dukes and Seven (9) investigated this relation-
ship. The general hypothesis was that perceptuaL accentuation tends
to vary directly with amount of value. A lar number of cards, all
of the ame physical dLmeuisons, wer stamped with aubers Lndicating
value, running from a value of -300 through a value of 4300 in incre-
mets of 10. The subjects were placed in a lmbling situation in
which they mon or lost money on the basis of the cards that they drew
fra the stock of cards. After drawing a card, they etched the
eise of the value card with on of 12 non-value cards chat differed
in varying degrees from the actual sie of the value cards. They
found that the perceptual accentuation increased as the value
increased in either the positive or negative directions. Plotting
the degree of accentuation against the amount of value gave a V-shaped
function, with accentuation being minimal when the value was zero.
The eta for this relationship was .87 or .88, depending on the
weighting given to the responses of individual subjects. Their
hypothesis was thus confirmed for both positive and negative value
A study yielding seemingly contradictory results was carried
out by Lysak and Gilchrist (14). Using one-, five- and ten-dollar
bills they found that degree of accentuation was no. related to the
amount of value.
Summry and Unsolved Issues
Surveying this body of literature on size judgments, recog-
nition thresholds, and GOR leads to the conclusion that the weight of
the evidence is in favor of 0-variables as effective factors in per-
ception in these situations. Jenkin (11), who compiled an extensive
summary of the recent literature in this area, felt that more often
than not results have been in favor of the hypothesis that 0-variables
are significant factors in perception.
There are, however, many questions that are unanswered. The
crucial experiments are yet to be done with regard to many of the
points discussed. The mechanism whereby these phenomena are mediated
is unknown. The question of the effect of personality, in a broad
general sense, on these pheanoena is relatively unexplored. The
extent of individual differences, or of sex differences, is more or
Hypetkhes for the Present Study
The present study we susieted principally by the work of
Seven sad Dukes (3). It seeks to test the follovin hypotheses:
1. Judgments of distance involving paired stimulus objects
vill be rare accurate for value stimuli than for mo-value stimuli,
and accuracy will vry directly with amount of value.
2. fPheamesel i will be seater for value stimuli than
for non-value stLmuli and will wry directly with amount of value.
3. Molecular judgments of distance will exhibit the effects
outlined in hypothseI 1 and 2 to a greater degree than will binocular
judlmets of distance.
4. Persons scoring higher on the ecommic scale of the
Allport-Vernon-Linday A Study of Values will exhibit the effects
outlined in hypotbeses 1 and 2 to a greater degree the will those
who score lower on this scale.
5. 1Mle and fmle subjects will differ significantly in
ton of the effects outlined in hyptheses 1 and 2.
The apparatus sad procedure employed in the present study
are similar to those used in the lvae-Dukes study. These factors
will be discussed in detail in the next chapter.
The first of the bypothese just set forth involves In essence,
a replication of the Bevan-k kes study, and also is oecerned with
the relationsbip between amont of value sad effect on perception.
The contradiction between the studies by Dukes end Beves (9) ad by
Lysak and Gilchrist (14) suggests this question.
Hypothesis 2 results from the suggested explanation by Bevan
and Dukes (3) of the increased accuracy of Judgments of value stimuli
as a function of larger phenomenal size of such stimuli. Aain, the
contradiction between Bevan and Dukes and Lysak and Gilchrist is
Hypothesis 3 arises from the suggested explanation by Bevan
and Dukes (3) involving phenomenal size. Judgments of distance
involving monocular vision are dependent upon the ce of size to a
much greater extent than are such judgments based on binocular vision.
Therefore, if accentuation does occur, we would expect such an effect
to be more noticeable in monocular than in binocular vision.
The relationship of the relatively stable aspects of
personality to perception of value stimuli is the basis for stating
hypothesis 4. The economic scale of A Study of Values is selected
for psychometric determination of one such personality variable that
might be significant in this situation.
The last hypothesis, concerning sex differences, is suggested
by the work of Witkin and his associates (23), who have found some
rather marked sex differences in perception.
This research is not intended to answer all the questions
relative to the role of 0-variables in perception, nor is it intended
to set forth a broad theoretical framewrk under which all of the
perceptual phenomena can be grouped. Rather, the intention is to
investigate certain specific questions concerning particular
0-variables in the per~ption of distance. These questions ar
asquested by the controversy in the literature, the contradictions
in previous research onR -vriables and perception, and by certain
logical exteesions derived fre thil previous work.
RESEARCH DESIGN AMN PROCEDURE
The subjects were 27 male and 27 female undergraduates from
the University of Florida, recruited from undergraduate psychology
courses. The only selective factor was that vision be at least
15/20 corrected, as determined by response to an American Optical
Company Chart Nuaber 1942.
Data from all subjects who met the above selection criterion
were used, with one exception. This subject's record was excluded
from the analysis of results because he reported that at an early
age he suffered convulsions which left him with little eye-muscle
control, and consequently little image fusion in binocular vision.
Since one of the factors under investigation in the present study
was that of binocular-manocular differences, it was felt that his
lack of binocular cues, such as convergence and retinal disparity,
known to be important in depth judgments would prejudice the results.
A modified fon. of the Howard-Dolman depth perception apparatus
was designed and constructed for this experiment. The subject sat
at one end of the apparatus, from which he could manipulate the
variable stimulus. The experimenter sat at the other end to change
the stimulus cards and record the data. A headrest iLaured that the
subject's eye* would be La the same position for each trial, thus min-
taainig the sam distance between the subject sad the steadard
stimulus figure. This diLtanoe wes 360 centimscers.
Movement of the wvriable stimulus figure was accomplished by
the subject turning a crank. The variable figure could be moved
closer to or further amy from the subject, depending an which
direction he turned the creak. For half the trials the variable
me the right-and figure, and for the other half,the left-hand
figure. The screw-thrad was such that one revolution of the crank
resulted in ose-half inch of heriometal ovemnt of the variable
As the subject Looked into the apparatus, his field of view
was listed by a rectaguler reduction tunmel, 64 iLwhes long. painted
flat black on the inside. Illiainatin was provided by twe 75 watt
floodlights, on above and ona below the reduction tumnl, and one
100 watt frted bulb on eash side of the tumnsl. The lights were
placed just behind the nd of the tumel, and were not visible to the
subject as he Inooed into the tsume. The entire apparatus was
covered with black cloth to nainiise the effects of outside lighting.
A black cloth heod also covered the subject's head and shoulders.
Behind the sw sctiulus figures ws a soft-textured white background,
a piece of fiber building beard. Two 75 watt leap were mounted at
the base of the backboard to atMainLe sbaMdo cus on the baekgroued.
Thus, as the subject looked into the reduction tunnel his field of
view was rectangular, and restricted to the two stimulus figures
surrounded by a small margin of the white background.
Since half of the trials were monocular, a black shield was
provided which could be slipped into a slot in the headrest mounting,
thereby limiting vision to either the right or the left eye as desired.
The subject manipulated this shield in accord with instructions from
Four pairs of stimulus figures were used in the experiment.
The value stimuli were pairs of one, twenty, and one hundred dollar
bills. The one-and twenty-dollar bills were from new stock, while
the one hundred-dollar bills were not new stock, but showed no wear
or other signs of use. The pair of neutral figures had dimensions
identical to the currency, and were drawn in India ink on stationery
whose texture was similar to the paper used for U.S. currency.
-igure 1 shows the design used for the neutral figures. This design
was drawn so as to have the sam general configuration as the currency.
The subject always saw the gray side of the currency, the side with
the portrait on it, and the long axis of the bill was horizontal.
The stimulus figures were mounted on white posterboard by means of
numrous sall plastic discs which were gunned on both side. The
posterboard mount could then be slipped into a slot on the stimulus
carrier which traveled back and forth on the drive screw. This
provided an arrangement whereby the stimulus figures could easily be
changed from trial to trial, end always be placed in the same
position relative to the subject's field of view.
Fig. 1.--Neutral Stimulus Figure
When the subject arrived for testing several minutes of
preliminary conversation served to establish rapport. Then he was
seated at the apparatus and given instruction and practice in its
operation. He was given four practice trials under binocular
conditions and four trials under monocular conditions. Stimuli for
the practice trials were two gray cardboard strips. A non-
correction procedure was followed throughout. Following are the
instructions given to each subject.
This is an experiment to determine the accuracy of your
depth or distance perception under different stimulus conditions.
Take a seat here and I will explain the procedure.
During each trial you will place your head against the head-
rest so that your eyes will be in the same position each time.
On some of the trials you will be using both eyes, whereas on
other trials you will be using only your right eye or only your
left eye. On the trials in which you will use only one eye you
will insert this shield in the slot here to block vision in one
or the other eye. I will tell you on these trials whether you
are to put the shield on the right or on the left. This shield,
as well as this card with a hole in it which will also be inserted
in this slot, will be used in determining your visual acuity, how
well you see, before we get into the depth judgments proper.
First, let us measure your visual acuity. We will want to
do this for each eye separately, so insert the shield on the
right (for even numbered subjects) left (for odd numbered subjects)
side of the slot. Now I will place the eye test card at the
other end of the apparatus. The figures on the card are like the
capital letter E. The position of the open side of the 1 varies.
It my be either on the right or the left, or up or down. I will
want you to report whether the open side of the E is up, down,
right, or left. For example, in line 5 you would report down,
left, left, up, up, reading them from left to right.
Now, with the shield on the right (or left) read line 7 to m.
Now, place the shield on the other side so that you will use the
other eye and read line 7 to me backwards, that is, read from the
right to the left.
(Repeat using line 6 if subject gets three or fewer correct
for either eye on line 7.)
Next we want to determine which is your dominant eye, the one
you use to see with the most. To do this, take the black shield
out and insert the card with the hole in it. Now move your head
back from the headrest about two feet, so that the curtain touches
the back of your head. Look through the hole as you move back,
observing the figures in line 3 of the eye test card. When you
get back about two feet you will be in such position that you will
see only oe of the E's of line 3 through the hole. Now close
your right eye. Did the E disappear? Now repeat this procedure,
but keep the right eye open and close the left eye. Did the
figure disappear? Your right (or left) eye is the dominant one.
ow let's get iato the actual operation of the apparatus.
Remove the card and look through the tube. As you look through
this tube you will ee two cards, which will be the visual stimuli.
During the trials you will turn one or the other of the two cranks
here to move one of the stimulus cards closer to you or away from
you until it appears to be the same distance as the other card.
I will instruct you on each trial as to whether you are to adjust
the right-hand crank or the left-hand crank, and whether you are
to mve the stimulus card closer to you or away from you. Notice
the arrows above the cranks which show that to move either card
away from you you turn the appropriate crank in a counterclock-
wise direction, whereas to move the card closer to you you must
turn the crank in a clockwise direction.
First, I will want you to move the right (for even numbered
subjects) left (for odd numbered subjects) hand figure closer (for
even numbered subjects) away (for odd numbered subjects) so that
it is the sam distance from you as the other figure. To do this,
turn the right (even numbers) left (odd numbers) in a clockwise
(even numbers) counterclockwise (odd numbers) direction. When
yeu Set it whewe it appere to be the sam distance, stop turn-
iag the crank. You will at be allowed to book up or move it
in the other direction to mak eorroetioea if you think you have
moved it too for. Moe it woly in the direction I tell you.
New go ahead and adjst it.
(Repeat for all right-may, riLht-closer, left-say, ead
Now let's try it using ely one eye. Isert the shield on
the right (eveM number) Left (odd number) side. Adjust the
right (ee numbers) left (odd numbers) head ard by moving it
closer (eve smbers) aay (odd number) until it appear to be
the same disatse as the other cauf. Remember that you eab t
book up rad -ake careretite ove the eerd an the indicated
direction until it appears to be the sam dietanae a the other
card and stop. You will find that the adjuesmeeta uing only
ee eye will be cesiderably men difficult. Whom the xpeari-
meat i over I will show you your results. mw make the adjust-
(Repeat for right eye, left eye, right card, left eard,
foewrd baeelkrd Iembintitom. Oaly four trials. Two for ach
eye. For eample: right eye, right card, ay; right eye, left
card, cLoLer; left eye, left card, amy; left eye, right board,
The distance you will hve to mov the ard will very free
trial to trial. Do you have any que-tiem about the operation
of the apperatus All right, new let's get to the eaperimet
proper. Hn are the stimluo eard we will use. First u have
a card with a figsue Trnam e it. Them we hae cards with $1,
S20, and $100 bills. Tkhi is real mey. I will give you
instruction before eeh trial oa to which card to adjust,
dieetiea of adjustment, and whether to ee the left, right, or
both eyes. After you m-e year adjustment Sor meh trial, leek
smy as I chebge the stimals cards and peepss fA the neat
triaL. If I should forget to tell you whether the trial is for
both eyes or oae eye, ask me ech time.
If then were no farther questions the test nsris ma
started, using the fowr paired of stimlu figure. The stiali were
pveated in radem order to distribute whatever oflets order and
praetieo might boae. Durig the first series of trLals, the etimli
were paired as ncral-mn trial (I-M), sM-doller-e-dollar (1-1),
twenty dollar-tmenty-dllar (20-20), and sme heiaed-dollar-oee
bhend-doller (100-100) bills. For eael of the four stialue paetr
four trials were given under binocular and four under monocular
conditions. Thus, the first series was 32 trials, 16 binocular
and 16 monocular.
For the binocular trials the right-hand figure was the vari-
able on half the trials, and the left-hand figure was the variable
on the other half of the trials. Also, on half the trials the
variable was to be moved closer to the subject, and on half it was
to be moved away from the subject. The designation of the variable
figure and direction of movement uch as right-away, right-closer,
left-away, and left-closer will henceforth be referred to as ra, re,
la, and Ic, respectively. For the binocular trials with the N-N,
1-1, 20-20, and 100-100 combinations the four trials were ra, rc, Is,
and lc for each combination.
On the monocular trials half were for the right eye and half
for the left eye. These trials will henceforth be designated as R
for right eye and L for left eye. It was not possible to cover all
combinations of eye, right or left variable, and direction of movement
in the four monocular trials for each stimulus pair. These ware
alternated from subject to subject and combination to combination.
For example, subject nmber 1 for the N-N combination would get R-ra,
R-lc, L-la, and L-rc presentations, and the next subject would get
R-la, I-rc, L-ra, and L-lc.
The random orders of presentation for the 32 trials involving
the NI-N, 1-1, 20-20, and 100-100 combinations ware derived in the
following manner. A deck of cards, numbered 1 through 32, we
assembled. Each of the 32 possible scimulus coditiaee wn assigned
a mmber, and a reodom order of presentation of the sttault for ech
subject wa derived ind4epad. ly. The deck of cards -a shuffled
tem time, and then this order as recorded on the subject's data
sheet. The order was prepared ahead of time, and the stimuli were
After the first series of 32 trials, asmtcr series of 24
trials a given. In this srLie each of the value stimli as
presented in conjuoetiee with the eutral stimulus giving threat
wmbimations, N-1, N-20, asd M-100. As with the first series, the
trials wre half binocular and helf moaocular. Random orders were
derived in similar fashion to that previously described. The vlue
stimlue ws always te variable in this series.
To miaimie the possibility of the subject's learning to turn
the crank a certain member of times to at the variable equal to the
standard, the distance between the variable and the standard at the
beginning of seh trial as varied from trial to trial over a range
of 150 to 300 wa After the subject bad ade his section the
euperiu ter recorded the error, the distaee V St in illimaters,
on the subject's data set. The stimulus cards wer then readied
for tbe meat crial.
The total tim for the 56 trials ralgd frm 32 to 68 minutes,
witk a wmn tie of 42.6 minutes, for the mles. The uage for the
females w fro 31 co 55 mLates, with a m a of 39.3 uLafes.
After oompleting the 56 trials on the apperans, each wsbject
took the Allport-Vernon-Lindaey A Study of Values. This completed
the testing session .
After the totintg session, the a*verae errer (AS) and
constant error (CE) were computed for each of the blocks of four
trials for each of the stiaulus conditions.
The results of this esudy will be pesented as follow.
First, the adauctions reultitg from each of the hypothee. given
ia Chapter I will be amted, aad the eck hypothesis and dedction
will be related to auek wvidemsc as is partinert.
Beductitn Erolm ypothles
Ivpethesis I.--lypethu is 1 concerns the relationship between
amount of wle and accuracy of judments. The accuracy of dLstance
Judgmats is reflected by the sin of the Al. If hypothesis 1 holds,
we would expect the AB to wry significantly fro smallet to largest
for the 100-100, 20-20, 1-1, mad M-a combinatiees respectively.
H.othM i l*.-H-ypothe is 2 states teat pheommeal sie vill
be greater for wvlu th.n for non-s-lue timuli, mad will very
directly with namut of value. If this hypothesis oelds, e would
expect that the patring of a value and mn-vlue stmaulus wmold
result in the value stiamlus being coeistently see further aIay
from the subject then the non-vlwe stimulus. Sies the error in
the isbjmct'l setting as meanead by the distanome St, a would
therefore expect in the N-I, N-20, and N-l10 series, in which the
vale figure was the variable, that the CE would be positive. A
positive CE would indicate that the value stimulus was being n t
further away from the subject than the non-value standard stimulus.
In addition, we would expect the positive CE to very significantly
from smallest to largest for the N-i, N-20, and N-100 combinations,
Hypothesis 3.--Hypothesi 3 states that the effects outlined
in hypotheses 1 and 2 will be greater in monocular than in binocular
Judgments. This hypothesis is based on the assumption that the
effects predicted above are related to phenomenal sie, and the fact
that monocular judgments depend on size cues to a greater degree
than do binocular judgments. If hypothesis 3 holds we would expect
that either the predicted effects would be absent or not statistically
significant under binocular conditions but statistically significant
under monocular conditions, or that the level of statistical signifi-
cance would be greater under monocular than under binocular conditions.
Hypothesis 4.--This hypothesis states that persons who score
higher on the economic scale of A Study of Values will exhibit the
above effects to a greater degree than will those who score lower on
this scale. This hypothesis assumes that those who have higher
economic values in a general sense, as indicated by this scale, will
be more sensitive to the operation of the value variable in this
specific situation. While the first three hypotheses are concerned
with intra-subject differences in reaction to value conditions,
hypothesis 4 relates to inter-subject differences in reaction to
value conditions as a function of a general economic value measureent
by a psychometric instrument. To test hypothesis 4 the subjects have
been dicbhtomised into two groups of equal size, the harf who scored
highest on the economic scale of the Allport-Vernon-Linday test and
the half scoring lowest on this saale. IW would thus suM et a
significant difference between the high and low scorers in term ef
AE, as in hypothlcls 1, and in tems of CE, as in hypothesis 2, or an
interaction effect involving the ecoeoic asale dichotomy and the
various atimlus conditions.
tpalJthusis 5.--This last hypttheis states that iale and
female subjects will differ significantly in terms of the effects
outlined in hypotheses 1, 2, and 3. As with hypothesis 4, the
question of inter-subject differences is the concern here. This
hypothesis is based on the previously mntiomed work of Witkin and
his associates (23), and also upon the Sgmeral tendency ia our culture
for the male to be more concerned with economic matters than is the
feate. On the basis of this hypothesis uw would expect signifi-
cant differences between ales and featles in AE, as in hypothesis 1,
and in CE, as in hypothesis 2, or an interaction effect between sex
and the various stimulus conditions.
StatiLtiLal Irvalrutes t Bk eattWe
The deductions Ifro hypotheMsi 1 r tested by the T ratios
reported in Tables I and 2 er the value variable. The I ratios uare
couted using the within sells varianes s ttie demimr ter, isca tih
inMesetio variaesa waes met statistLcally signifld st. The four
valu e edition ina kese amlyees rw the paired stimli, N-I, 1-1,
20-20, sad 100-L00. Table 1 skews F ratios of 1.11 and 1.23 for the
ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR AE, BINOCULAR AND MONOCULAR TRIALS,
FOUR VALUB CONDITIONS BY SIX
Source df Sr of Squares Variance F
ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR AE, BIN CULAR AND 40M~CULAR TRIALS,
FOUR VALUE CONDITIONS BY ECONOMIC SCORE
Source df Sam of Squares Variance F
Bi- Value 3 132.0624 44.02 1.12
nocu- Economic 1 80.6667 80.67 2.05
lar Interaction 3 117.3492 39.12 0.99
Within cells 208 8,185.0838 39.35
Total 215 8,515.1621
----------------------*-------------------- a............ -------
binocular md monocular oeadictioa respectively. Table 2 shoas
almost identical F racios of 1.12 sad 1.22 for the binocular and
secular conditions. This slight difference La values between
Tables 1 and 2 is due to the fcc that the within cells varLane is
slightly different when the subjects are divided by smx s comped
with the division eo the basic of seenomie series. Memo of the F
ratios neutioned above is statistically sigipfioent. Thus, we can
reject the deduction that the value oeuditious will sow statistically
significant differences amg tcmelvee.
A further deduction from hypothbois 1 vas that the four
alue conditions would euhibit a certain aerial order in aiss of AS,
the A decreasing as value increases. Table 3 bhes the mean AS for
each of the value coditleas for binocular and monocular trials.
MEAN AS IN MILLIMT11T FOR FOUR VALUE COMITIONS FOR
SIMOCL AR AN HMDOCULAR TRIALS
N-M 1-1 20-20 100-100
ionecular 14.52 12.34 13.77 13.55
Monocular 57.01 48.33 50.29 53.04
Inspection of Table 3 sbows that the predicted order of smi
of ALS ailed to appear. Coupled with tiR non-siguifieant F ratios
for value, this avideace allows us to reject the part of hypochesil L
that tates that slie of A and amount of value will vary toiecher.
There remains the possibility that the Al of judgments for
all value conditions combined i significantly smaller than that for
the N-N combination. This would be predicted by the first part of
hypothesis 1. To test this possibility a simple t test ves run
comparing the man AE for the three value conditions combined and
the mean AE for the N-N combination. Since the same subjects were
involved in the N-N and value judgments, the correlation between these
two nsts of judgments was taken into account. Table 4 shows the data
for this comparison. These results show no significant differences.
COMPARISON OF MEAN AE FOR IBUTRAL AND COMBINED VALUE CONDITIONS
FOR BINOCULAR AND MONOCULAR TRIALS
Mean o r t
Binocular alue 13.22 5.35 4.52 1.76
Neutral 14.52 5.79
Value 50.56 17.40
Monocular *.48 1.77
Neutral 57.01 30.06
On the basis of the data outlined above we can reject value
as a significant variable affecting AL under these conditions.
With respect to hypothesis 2 the analyses of variance presented
in Tables 5 and 6 are pertinent. The F ratios were computed using
the within cells variance as the denominator, since the interaction
variances were not statistically significant. Inspection of the
ANALYSIS OF VARIAICE IMR CE, IIOMCULAR A4D NMSOCUAR TRIALS,
THREE VALUK G0OBTIDMN SI K
Source df Sm of Iquares VaYrlme F
Bi- Value 2 504.9660 252.48 3.96*
eoeu- kx 1 52.8164 52.82 0.83
lar Interaction 2 281.6437 140.75 2.21
Within cells 156 9,942.0002 63.73
Toetal 161 10,781.2763 -
........ -- ----.- --...-..--.-.-- ----------------------------
p less the .025
** p less th .001
ANALYSIS OF VARIANCU MO CE, SIK CULAR AMD NIIMULAR TRIALS,
THnIR B VLL CONIITIOMS BY ICMOIfC DMeU
Searee df m of Squaree Taritace F
Bl- Value 2 504.9660 252.41 3.87*
maou- loememic 1 0.0247 0.02 0.00
Lw Interaction 2 26". 192 134.10 2.05
Within otlls 156 10,184.5974 65.29
Toeal 161 10,781.2763
* p Leo than .025
** p tlco thbe .00L
results in Table 5 shows the F ratios to be 3.96, which is signifi-
cent at the .025 level, for the binocular condition, and 10.45, which
is significant at the .001 level, for the monocular condition. The
F ratios for the comparable conditions from Table 6 are 3.87 and 10.57,
significant at the .025 and .001 levels, respectively. The above F
ratios apply to the value variable for the CE of the N-1, N-20, and
N-100 value combinations. These data indicate that amount of value
is a significant variable in determining the size of the CE when the
value figures are paired with the neutral figure.
From hypothesis 2 the deduction Me made that the CE would be
positive when the neutral and value figures were paired. Table 7
show the mean CE for each of the three stimulus combinations for
binocular and monocular conditions.
MEAN CE IN MILLIETES FOR THREE VALUE CONDITIONS
FOR BINOCULAR AND MONOCUAR TRIALS
N-1 1-20 N-100
Binocular *1.76 40.42 +4.65
Monocular -50.88 -31.20 -23.15
The direction of the CE's for the monocular trials shows a
striking departure from that predicted by hypothesis 2. The CE's
for the binocular trials were positive as predicted, but the serial
order of size of CE is not that which was predicted. If the pre-
diction had been that the distance from the subject to the value
stimulus would be greatest for the U-100 combination and least for
the N-l combination, this prediction would be substantiated by the
data for the monocular trials. The value stiimlue was set further
aay from the subject for the N-100 combination for the binocular
trials also, but the relative placement for the N-1 and N-20 eombi-
nations was the reverse of that predicted.
In view of the significant F ratios for the CE's for the
value variable under both binocular and secular conditions, t
rates mare computed for the differences in ms CE for the various
stimulus combinations. For the binocular trials, the t rates for
the (N-1)(N-20), (H-1)(N-100), and (1-20)(9-100) differences were 0.85,
2.04, and 2.64, respectively. The last two are significant at the
.05 and .01 levels, respectively. The comparable t rats for the
monocular trials were 2.97, 4.22, and 1.50, respectively. The first
two of these are significant at the .01 sad .001 levels, respectively.
One further point should be considered bare, the significance
of the deviation of the CE's from an expected CE of 0.00. Assuming
a pameter of 0.00, we find for the binocular trials that the N-L,
N-20, and N-100 combinations give t ratios of 1.73, 0.39, and 3.94,
respectively. The last of these is significant at the .001 level.
For the monoeular trials all chrae conditions give t ratios signift-
cant at the .001 level, being 9.42, 3.14, and 6.18, respectively.
From the above data we are not able to give an unequivocal
answer about the status of hypothesis 2. Sme of the evidence can
be interpreted as supporting som of the deductla while others of
the deductions are clearly not supported.
The third hypothesis states that the effect of value on
distance judgments will be greater under monocular than under bi-
nocular conditions. The results shown in Tables I and 2 do not
support this hypothesis. In addition, the t ratios reported in
Table 4 for the difference between ean AX for the combined value
condition and mean AE for the neutral condition are almost identical
for the binocular and monocular trials. Thus, there is no signifi-
cant difference in the effect of the value variable on accuracy urder
the binocular and monocular conditions.
The analyses reported in Tables 5 and 6 do lend soe support
to hypothesis 3, however. The level of statistical significance is
higher for the monocular than for the binocular trials. This evidence
partially supports hypothesis 3.
hypothesis 4 leads to the prediction that there will be signi-
ficant differences between the high and low scorers on the economic
scale of the Allport-Vernen-Lindsey test with respect to the effect
of the value variable on visual perception in this situation. To
test this the 54 subjects were divided into two equal groups, those
whose economic scores were 36 or higher and those *ose scores were
35 or lower. The results set forth in Tables 2 and 6 bear on this
hypothesis. none of the F ratios involving the economic scale
dichotomy is significant.
As noted with the testing of hypothesis 1, there is still the
possibLlity that the difference in accuracy of judgments of the paired
naetraL tiimli and three scored vlune tiLmli mrt be tested taking
iato aeoumal Lbe economic scale dichelt y. This pesibility was
aesed by t ratio bletan mamL for the asutral and combined value
coedities Cfor the high and low seorers eparetely. Separat teetI
fmre an for the bLMooular sad meocular eadititas. IataU fr this
analysis are shown Table 8. enme of the differences ws sigifL-
CEMIMIESN OF MIA AZ PORt MIUAL 3 AM CUMED A B U I "I0OTIOMS
POr MIAH AM LOW KComIC SCMIs
Mae r t
Righ Low High LO IIgh Low Nigh Law
Scere SIn eem e 4 e ISere SI ISeere len Ioeer
Vale 13.94 12.51 6.17 4.13
SBIR. ..56 ,.48 0.79 1.64
eoutral 14.81 14.12 5.76 5.82
Value 4.97 51.16 16.60 18.13
Mie. 4.50 #.49 1.06 1.40
leMtral 54.12 59.96 21.49 36.46
The fifth bypotkmis led to the prediction of siganficauc
mla-mslse dilffewnmes in the offeet of vwlu em dsl tamee judImts.
w amstyees presented in Tables 1 md 5 de met LJd Muport te
kypotheiJ 5. Ienm of the F ratios involving sne is mlgpifieat.
The pesshbility of a slgaificant dlferMee betwe meon AX of the
anmrsal jueme mt an d mo At of the oembAmd v iue judgMets muat
be esmldeJed with respet to piseble sea dffewmmas. Tie
procedure employed is eseIntially like that just used to toet for
differences between the high and low economic scorers. Table 9
gives the data for this comparison. inspection of thee data shows
that there vas no significance difference between neutral and com-
bined value judgments for the female subjects under either binocular
or monocular conditions. However, the data for the oale subjects
exhibit reliable differences in this regard, the t ratios being 2.09
and 2.83 for the binocular and monocular conditions, respectively.
These t ratios are significant at the .05 and .01 levels, respectively.
This arrlysis supports the contention of hypothesis 5 that there will
be sex differences in the effect of value upon the accuracy of depth
COMPARISON OF MAN AE OR NEUTRAL AMN COMBINED VALUE CONDITIONS
FOR MALE AND FEMALE SUBJECTS
Mean o r t
Kale Fea. Kale Fee. Male Fn. Hale Fe-.
Value 12.87 13.57 5.55 5.11
BSL. 4.60 *.35 2.09* 0.60
Neutral 14.75 14.29 5.90 5.64
Value 47.48 53.65 16.77 17.45
Mon. 4.64 4.42 2.88** 0.48
Netral 57.26 56.76 22.28 36.21
p ees than .05
** p les than .01
From the preceding discussion it can be seen that the data
lend partial support for hypotheses 1, 2, 3, and 5, but no support
for hypothesis 4. Discussion of the over-all significance of these
results for the general problem of the role of value in the perception
of distance will be taken up in the next chapter.
CONCLUSIONS AND SUMMARY
The principal points of conera of the present study were
the relationship between psychological value of stimli and the
accuracy of judgments of distance involving such stimuli, and the
relationship between value and phenemanal size. Secondary factors
under investigation were differences in binocular-moncular con-
dition, the performance of high end low scoring groups on the
economic scale of the Allport-Vemon-Lindaey A Study of Values,
and sea differences in performance. The data lend support to all
of the above, with the exception of the Allport-Vernon-Lindzey test
The data give som corroboration to the thebsi that value,
n 0-variable, is a factor in judgments of ditame, but this state-
meot requires considerable qualification. The operation of value
as an effective variable i the present study does ot apply to all
subjects and all conditions. The data shown in Table 9 support
hypothesis 1 with regard to the increased accuracy, as indicated by
a smaler Al, of judgments of distance for paired value stimuli as
compared with paired neutral stimuli for the male subjects. There
is no corroborative evidence for this aspect of hypothesis 1 for the
female subjecEs. This aex difference is supporting evidence for
With reard to the senmd part of hypothesis 1, the relation-
ship between acuracy of udgments and amoue of value, the data do
not support the hypothesis. no relate hip between those factors
is reflected La the data set frth n Tables 1, 1, and 3. Thus, the
first hypothesis is y partially contfmed. Iale subjects bse a
signifisat difteroere between mientrl snd value judmets, but tmn
of the difLerasc -mg the thee value omditlems is sigaifeast.
Iypthlsis 2, ooneenmeta diffreeces iL phbem l sin of
the four semuli empLoyed in this sledy, is partially subsantiated
by the nslts gives iL Tables 5, 6, a. d 7. Thl4 is particularly
trwe fr the manoular trials. This -mm-oelar-bLaosw ar differene
als l[rie support to hypothesis 3. brewer, the prediction from
hypothesis 2 as that the value stiL li esuld be Iph ememlly larger
them the neutral stimulus. In the bineoular trials this prediction
was fulfilled, but the deviatolt du to the settlao of the $100 bills
La the 1-100 combimatsm aesoemd hr met of the signifiosoem of
this result. omweer, h the menocular trials the predicted
positive Cl's wre not melised, and ouabastial mne tive Cg's were
ohered. The -sseular results mbohwd a mbk bhiger level
sttistieal sipgiflonce in this regard tn did the hil cular trials.
It should be nted that the relative positieniag of the $1, $20, aad
$100 bills wh peined with the matral stimlu wos as predicted Skr
the muscular trials, bt ia she bineculer trials the $1 ad $20 bills
ae Is th nMevrse wlatiemhip feme that pediesd.
One possible interpretation of this result would be that the
value stimuli were phemenally ll ell than the neutral stimulus,
and hence the negative CE. The only point of similarity in results
for the Ct's for monocular and binocular trials under the N-1, N-20,
and N-100 conditions is that the $100 bill was placed farthest seay
from the subject under both monocular and binocular conditions.
A reason which my account for this discrepancy in direction
of Cl under binocular and monocular conditions suggests itself. It
is obvious that depth judgments are iade on the basis of Cues.
Normally, at short distances uch as that employed in the present
study, the cues associated with binocular vision are by far the most
important in determining our judgments of distance. It is likely
that the effect of an 0-variable, such s value, will be subordinate
to the operation of the strong binocular cues. In monocular vision,
where relative aize is one of the mre important cues, value, if it
affects phenomenal sae, is much more likely to be a significant
variable i one's judgments of distance. Stating the"e points
differently, it might be *aid that an 0-variable to leea likely to be
manifest in a perception whose organization is strongly structured by
S-variables. The organization of monecular visual perception is less
stable and more sensitive to the intrueson of 0-variables than is that
of binocular visual perception.
However, even assuming this explanation of the discrepancy
between monocular and bineular results, the question of why the CE's
were negative for the monocular trials remain. As mentioned above,
me poeibl* esplneatiot is that the value stiiLl, iatead of
beLta phboeuoally larger, are pheemeaolly -mller. Another
peelhility mes suggested by the spesaneee cents of a amber
of time Mbjects, to the effect that they probably set the value
stimili cloer to the tkhe the neutral beeiae they wanted to Leve
the asy Mear, to passes it. It is poetible that La the per-
ceptually less stable momeoular hLtuation tLhe m a seaflict
betmRn the operatiLon t value an phemeimel s and hLil tendecy
to brin desired objects merer to the subject. If the latter
factor were the stroalgr, the negative C weuld result. However,
the fct that the $100 bill as et frtbest awy Eem the subject
and the $1 bill set clseet would ittleate that this tendency to
bring the nery awrer did net completely everpewr the diffaeaces
in phasmeaml sie. It would still appear that the phsmomel mie
me greatest for the $100 bill and eIet for the $1 bill. Additional
wseeah will be mee a ery to emplere tese efacere Sully.
a ummrising the evidence bearing so Lypothesim 2, it cam
be said that the status of the first part of the khyptheLs, that
value rth li-will be phermenally larger than will mwtral stimuli,
is smemuht equivocal. The s*end part of the hype heeL eonmeraiag
the increase in phemmr ul size with inacreastg ve le is supported
by .-t ~na for the aosecular trials.
In toetien hypothemi 3, relative to as-Oselar-btnaemar
dilCneeMes in seqnracy and phemumemal se, the peadiag d4i-
cusstm ef eac dlfferea es umder bypethesis 2 is pertinent. no
such differences were noted in the salyses of accuracy under hypothe-
sis 1, however. Thue, while there are som significant monocular-
binocular differences with respect to phaomna l site, there are no
*sch differences in the effect of value on the accuracy of depth
judgment reflected in thee data. There is, of course, a great
difference in accuracy of the binocular and monocular trials, but
the eCffct of value is n more apparent under one condition then the
No significant differences between the two economic value
groups were observed for either accuracy or phenomenal sie. The
data of Tables 2, 6, and 8 do not support hypothesis 4.
Hypothesis 5, concerning sex difference, is partially upheld
by the results of this study. Male subjects did exhibit signifi-
cantly smaller AE's for the combined value condition than for the
neutral judgments as bshow in Table 9. This was true for both
binocular and aonocular trials. However, an significant difference
was found in this regard for female subjects. Ho sex differences
were found for the pheaomenal sie data.
Returning to the prior research that instigated the present
study we can draw a ofw tetative unifying conclusions. The present
study drew fro two general types of research. The first type was
that which demonstrated the phenomenon of perceptual accentuation,
changes in phenoemenl sie as a function of psychological value.
The second type is exemplified in the work of Bevaa and Dukes (3),
who found greater accuracy of distance Judgnents involving value
stiaull than for similar judments of nonavalue stiauli. They
suggest pheomal Sim as a pesolbla explantory faster Sar their
romslts. The ueults of the p- aeet raearch suggest that this
expleaction for the Lucrase in accuracy is isa rror.
The prosem t study soted differeaes in pbhenomeml sin of
the various value simul writheut a correpending increase in
accuacy of judgmes ameg those varius va lue stimlt. The
ire sed accuracy of vlue judgmts as cmpnred with me-vaLue
judgmets noted mng the male subjects i lved value in an all-or-
Msthbin couMtxt. We met losk eluwhers than phem l st for
A possibility in this regard is cat in the pMessm.e of the
metal stimuli the subject is aUe careless or ls atlentive in
his approach to the problem than whea in the prsenme of the value
stimuli. As a comequeus, the judments of value timuli weuld be
mers accurate then these f me traL stimuli. This is, of course,
an slcet of value on the accuracy of the nueslting judgmts of
distance. However, this effect would net be umdiated th sugh a
cbge in the acuity of the depth paeeption of the subject, but
through a oareles appsach to the motor aspects of adjuting the
apparatus. It is tChe quite possible that vale se affect visul
peyreptioa with regard to phenenal sine d hltte o *ffset epoa
the accuracy of one's perception of dietane.. It is tae amral
coucluesom of tba pmase t study that value does set influence the
accuracy aof es's perception of diseeee.
The present study sought to investigate the role of value in
the perception of dis.tne. Five hypotheses concerning judgments
of distance involving value nd neutral stimulus figures were tested.
The value stimuli were pairs of $1, $20, and $100 bills. The neutral
stimli were geometric figures having a configuration similar to that
of the money and of identical dimensions as the matey. Subjects were
27 male and 27 femle students at the University of Florida. The
apparatus used was a specially constructed modification of the Howard-
Dolman depth perception apparatus.
Each subject made 56 judtaents of the various cominations of
stiauli, half under binocular conditions and half under monocular
conditions. The average error and constant error were computed for
the various conditions and subjected to statistical treaUtmet. Each
subject also took the Allport-Vernon-Lindasy A Study of Values. The
principal results were as follow:
1. Kale subjects made wmre accurate judgentes for the value
than for the neutral stimuli under both monocular and binocular con-
ditions. No sch difference ws noted for the female subjects. No
difference in accuracy among the three value conditions was observed.
2. Differences in phenomenal siae of the various value
stimuli were found to be significant.
3. Significant differences between onocular and binocular
conditions were exhibited.
4. No differences between the high scorers on the economic
sulse of A tujy of a ~s and the low scorers weae eted.
5. The sceas differed *nitfiteatly an the meerwey of their
judm-Ast of distance in the combined valu vs. meutral oditiL .
6. The psrwnl coclusiom -as that vlua afkects phemu mal
lis, buit doe not aftelt the accuracy of pereepti M of distmas.
1. Ashley, Wayne R., Harper, Robert S., and Runyon, Dale L. The
perceived sise of coins in oral and hypnotically induced
economic states. Arer. J. Psycol., 1951, 64, 564-572.
2. Beams, Howard L. Affectivity as a factor in the apparent sine
of pictured fod objects. J. exp. Paychlol., 1954, 47, 197-200.
3. Bevan, Willlim, Jr., and Dukes, William F. Value and the Weber
constant in the perception of distance. Amer. J. Psychol.,
1951, 64, 500-584.
4. Bruner, Jerome S., and Gooman, Cecile C. Value and need as
organtiing factors in perception. J. abnor. soc. Psychol.,
1947, 42, 33-44.
5. Bruner, Jerome S., and Postman, Leo. Perception, cognition,
and behavior, J. Fers., 1949, 18, 14-31.
6. Bruner, Jerome S., and Postman, Leo. Symbolic value as an oran-
izing factor in perception. J. soc. Psychol., 1948, 27, 203-
7. Carter, Launor F., and Schooler, Kemit. Value, need, and other
factors in perception. Psychol. Rev., 1949, 56, 200-207.
8. Duks, William F., and Seven, William, Jr. Accentuation and
response variability in the perception of personally relevant
objects. J. ,Per.. 1952, 20, 457-465.
9. Duke, William F., and Bevan, William, Jr. Size estimation and
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10. 1laigh, Gerard V., and risk, Donald W. Corroboration of personal
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Wallace W. Prophet wrs born November 22, 1927 at Pembroke,
Florida. He attended elementary and secondary schools in Plant
City, Florida, graduating from Plant City High School in 1945.
After his freshman year at the University of Florida, he enlisted
in the U. S. Air Force for a period of eighteen months, fifteen of
which ware spent in Japan. Upon discharge from the Air Force in
1948 be re-entred the Univerity of Florida. In February, 1951,
he received the degree baeelor of Art* with honors from the
University of Florida. Be then received the Master of Arts degree
from this institution in August, 1952.
During the period from February, 1953, until the present time
he has bee employed as Instructor in Psychology at the University of
He is a mewher of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honorary
scholastic fraternitie. Mat is also a mawer of Alpha Kappa Delta
honorary sociological fraternity. In addition, he holds ,berships
ia the American Psychological Association, Florida Psychulogical
Association, Southeastern Psychological AssocLation, The Psychometric
Society, and American Association of University Professors.
He i# married and bee one a*n.
This dissertation was prepared under the direction of the
chairman of the candidate's supervisory committee and has been
approved by all members of the committee. It was submitted to
the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate
Council and was approved as partial fulfillment of the requlirtent.
for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
June 9, 1958
Dean, College of Arts and Scienaei.
Dean, Graduate School
.ic ' A,