The case for misapplied constancy scaling: depth associations elicited by illusion configurations.

L. M. Ward, Clare Kathleen Porac, S. Coren, J. S. Girgus

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It has been suggested that many visual-geometric illusions arise from inappropriate evocation of size-constancy by depth cues implicit in illusion configurations. Observers gave free association responses while viewing illusion figures. Analysis of these responses provides weak but consistent evidence for the elicitation of depth in the Sander parallelogram, Mueller-Lyer, Zoellner, and Ehrenfels variant of the Ponzo illusion. No evidence for depth is found in the normal form of the Ponzo, Poggendorff, and horizontal-vertical illusions, and the evidence is ambiguous in the Orbison configurations. These results indicate that depth processing may be evoked by some, but not all, classical illusion forms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-620
Number of pages12
JournalThe American journal of psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1977


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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