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    People watching: the perception of the relative body proportions of the self and others

    Linkenauger, S.A. and Kirby, L.R. and McCulloch, K.C. and Longo, Matthew R. (2017) People watching: the perception of the relative body proportions of the self and others. Cortex 92 , pp. 1-7. ISSN 0010-9452.

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    We have an abundance of perceptual information from multiple modalities specifying our body proportions. Consequently, it seems reasonable for researchers to assume that we have an accurate perception of our body proportions. In contrast to this intuition, recent research has shown large, striking distortions in people’s perceptions of their the relative proportions of their own bodies. Specifically, individuals show large distortions when estimating the length of their body parts with a corporal metric, such as the hand, but not with a non-corporal object of the same length (Linkenauger et al., 2015). However, it remains unclear whether these distortions are specific to the perception of the relative proportions of one’s own body or whether they generalize to the perception of the relative proportions of all human bodies. To assess this, individuals judged the relative lengths of either their own body parts or the body parts of another individual. We found that people have distorted perceptions of relative body proportions even when viewing the bodies of others. These distortions were greater when estimating the relative body parts of someone of the same gender. These results suggest our implicit full body representation is distorted and influences our perceptions of other people’s bodies, especially if the other person’s body is similar to our own.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Matthew Longo
    Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2017 13:53
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:32


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