Two response measures for reporting visually perceived egocentric distances-verbal judgments and blind manual reaches-were compared using a within-trial methodology. The expected range of possible target distances was manipulated by instructing the subjects that the targets would be between .50 and 1.00 of their maximum arm reach in one session and between .25 and .90 in another session. The actual range of target distances was always .50-.90. Verbal responses varied as a function of the range of expected distances, whereas simultaneous reaches remained unaffected. These results suggest that verbal responses are subject to a cognitive influence that does not affect actions. It is suggested that action responses are indicative of absolute perception, whereas cognitive responses may reflect only relative perception. The results also indicate that the dependant variable utilized for the study of depth perception will influence the obtained results.
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