Perceived heaviness is influenced by the style of lifting

  • Amazeen E
  • Tseng P
  • Valdez A
 et al. 
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This experiment examined the influence of action on weight perception and the size-weight illusion. Participants rated the perceived heaviness of objects that varied in mass, length, and width. Half of the participants lifted each object and placed it down on the table and half placed the object on a pedestal before reporting their perception of heaviness. These tasks were performed either with or without vision. In all cases, increases in size produced decreases in perceived heaviness. For increases in both length and width, the use of vision produced a greater decrease in perceived heaviness. For increases in width alone, the task in which participants placed the object on a pedestal (a task for which the width of the object was a relevant variable) was associated with a greater decrease in perceived heaviness. Salience of information was discussed as a means by which task and modality might influence perception. You must perceive the weight of an object in order to lift, hold, or use it. Any time that you pick up a tool, an eating utensil, or a box off a shelf, you must perceive its weight; every component of the movement, from the grip and load forces to the torques used for control and manipulation, requires this information. Action does not just follow perception, though; you must first grip and lift an object to generate the necessary stimulation (Weber, 1834/1978). In a circular fashion, actions make information available to generate the perception that will control those actions—as Gibson (1979/1986) put it, " We must perceive

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