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Two theories of distance perception-ie, the angular expansion hypothesis (Durgin and Li, 2011 Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics 73 1856-1870) and the intrinsic bias hypothesis (Ooi et al, 2006 Perception 35 605-624)-are compared. Both theories attribute exocentric distance foreshortening to an exaggeration in perceived slant, but their fundamental geometrical assumptions are very different. The intrinsic bias hypothesis assumes a constant bias in perceived geographical slant of the ground plane and predicts both perceived egocentric and exocentric distances are increasingly compressed. In contrast, the angular expansion hypothesis assumes exaggerations in perceived gaze angle and perceived optical slant. Because the bias functions of the two angular variables are different, it allows the angular expansion hypothesis to distinguish two types of distance foreshortening-the linear compression in perceived egocentric distance and the nonlinear compression in perceived exocentric distance. While the intrinsic bias is proposed only for explaining distance biases, the angular expansion hypothesis provides accounts for a broader range of spatial biases.


This work is freely available courtesy of Pion: i-Perception.

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