Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Psychon Bull Rev. 2014 Apr;21(2):384-9. doi: 10.3758/s13423-013-0505-1.

A perceiver's own abilities influence perception, even when observing others.

Author information

Deparment of Psychology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 80523, USA,


Perceptual judgments of objects, such as judgments of their size, distance, and speed, are influenced by the perceiver's ability to act on these objects. For example, objects that are easier to block appear to be moving slower than objects that are more difficult to block. These effects are known as action-specific effects. Recent research has found similar patterns when a person observes someone else act: When the other person's task is more difficult, objects look farther away and faster to the observer, whereas when the other person's task is easier, the objects look closer and slower to the observer. These previous findings that another person's ability penetrates into perceptual judgments challenge the idea that action-specific effects are specific to the perceiver's own abilities. However, in the present study, we show that the apparent effects of another person's ability on the observer's judgments are actually due to the observer's own abilities as if he or she was in the other person's situation. This implicates a type of self-projection motor simulation mechanism. The results also preserve the critical idea that action-specific effects are perceiver specific and, consequently, that they could be adaptive for planning future actions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Support Center