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The ability to accurately perceive distances between the self and objects/targets underlies action-guidance and spatial navigation. While one can easily and accurately judge distances from his or her own perspective, it is largely unknown whether distance judgments from an imagined perspective are as accurate as from one’s own viewpoint. This study will investigate the accuracy of distance judgments made from another person’s viewpoint. To do so, participants will be asked to either adopt a confederate’s viewpoint or to imagine standing in a different location (without a confederate acting as a stand-in) and to estimate distance from these novel perspectives. As a control, participants will simply judge the distances between two targets (object to object or exocentric distance judgment). We predict that participants will judge distances most accurately when adopting the perspective of a confederate; distance judgments will be less accurate when made from an imagined viewpoint (with only a marker to denote the adopted viewpoint) and when making judgments of the distances between two external objects. This study will contribute to an understanding of the ways in which we navigate the external world but will also have social psychological implications in their investigation of perspective-taking.

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Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Benjamin R Kunz

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