Monty Hall Problemdilemma


MOON ILLUSION THEORY. Although any normal, healthy, sensory-intact individual may readily experience the moon illusion (i.e., the full moon on the horizon appears to be larger than the same moon when viewed directly overhead at its apex), there have been various speculations - ever since the ancient Greeks - as to how the illusion occurs. Foremost among such "best guesses" is the moon illusion theory that states that perceptual factors such as apparent size, afterimage, and distance act in the person's unconscious perceptual constructions by placing the horizon sky (which acts as a "background" surface for the "figure" of the moon) at a further distance than it really is (due to "familiar" cues on the horizon such as trees, the skyline, and buildings that serve as bases for distance estimations). Also, the moon on the horizon is perceived as being behind the various depth cues that are present, so the depth perception cue of "overlap" adds to the "erroneous" perception that the moon on the horizon is farther away. The moon illusion involves, also, the misapplication of the principle of size constancy; that is, much like the afterimage of the stimulus of a glowing light bulb that "appears" to be larger on a distant wall as compared to the afterimage on a near wall, the moon "appears" to be larger when the perception of its distance increases. In actuality, the perceiver's retinal size/image of the full moon is the same in all locations whether near or far. Thus, even though one's retinal image of the moon re mains constant in size, the viewer makes a "perceptual error" and perceives the moon as being larger because it seems to be farther away on the erroneously-estimated distant horizon. Theoretical notions about illusions, such as the moon illusion, emphasize the fact that what humans "see" is not merely a simple objective ("veridical") reflection of the world, but involves one's subjective perceptual interpretation - often including "perceptual errors" - of stimuli in the environment. In a sense, illusions - such as the moon illusion - are "irresistible;" that is, in spite of the fact that we know - in a rational or intellectual way - about certain facts or features of our environment, we nevertheless make "perceptual errors" about our surroundings that are beyond our resistance or control and seem to be unavoidable. See also AFTERIMAGE LAW; CONSTANCY HYPOTHESIS; EM-MERT'S LAW; FIGURE-GROUND RELATIONSHIPS, PRINCIPLE OF. REFERENCES

Science, 137, 902-906. Kaufman, L., & Rock, I. (1962). The moon illusion. Scientific American, 207, 120-130.

Kaufman, L., & Kaurman, J. H. (2000). Explaining the moon illusion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 97, 500-505.

Brain Blaster

Brain Blaster

Have you ever been envious of people who seem to have no end of clever ideas, who are able to think quickly in any situation, or who seem to have flawless memories? Could it be that they're just born smarter or quicker than the rest of us? Or are there some secrets that they might know that we don't?

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