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Behavior Research Methods


Palm boards are often used as a nonverbal measure in human slant perception studies. It was recently found that palm boards are biased and relatively insensitive measures, and that an unrestricted hand gesture provides a more sensitive response (Durgin, Hajnal, Li, Tonge, & Stigliani, Acta Psychologica, 134, 182-197, 2010a). In this article, we describe an original design for a portable lightweight digital device for measuring hand orientation. This device is microcontroller-based and uses a micro inclinometer chip as its inclination sensor. The parts are fairly inexpensive. This device, used to measure hand orientation, provides a sensitive nonverbal method for studying slant perception, which can be used in both indoor and outdoor environments. We present data comparing the use of a free hand to palm-board and verbal measures for surfaces within reach and explain how to interpret free-hand measures for outdoor hills.


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