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Clothing is essential in most cultures: it displays personal style, occludes body parts from view, and provides protection from the elements. In a previous study we determined that clothing alters affordance judgments, or one’s perceived ability to act. To broaden our knowledge of the influence of clothing on affordance judgments, we are conducting three additional experiments in which participants make affordance judgments about their ability to complete motor tasks while wearing multiple layers of clothing. The first experiment employs the method of limits, whereby the experimenter raises or lower a bar until the participant indicates that the bar is reachable or no longer reachable; this is repeated in several trials while the participant is wearing from 1 to 5 additional layers of clothing. In a second study, participants make affordance judgments regarding the passability of their arms through variously-sized apertures while wearing layers of clothing. A third study employs the mirror illusion to examine the relative contributions of visual and touch information to the body schema and affordance judgments. In this study, the right clothed arm is placed out of sight behind a mirror while the unclothed left arm and its reflection are visible in a mirror, giving the illusion that the actions and accoutrement of the right arm are those of the left arm. Participants will make affordance judgments about the passability of their clothed arm through an aperture while wearing varying layers of clothing on their right (and hidden) arm. We predict that clothing will influence perceived affordance judgments even though it has little impact on actual action capabilities. Together, these studies will provide insights as to how visual and tactile information about clothing influence the perception of the body and subsequent judgments about one’s capability to act in the environment.
Benjamin R Kunz
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium poster
Tymoski, Michael J., "The Layered Look: A Deeper Look into the Relationship of Clothing and Body Schema" (2016). Stander Symposium Posters. 817.