Although there has been a great deal of research on binocular distance perception (Foley, 1980; Gogel, 1977), a number of questions remain unexplored. One such question involves how our ability to perceive distances is influenced by fitness and stress (internal and external). Previous research has shown that kinesthetic stress (via backpack weight) influences a personâ€™s ability to accurately guess distances (Proffitt, Bhalla, Gossweiler, & Midgett, 2003). This research did not only attempt to replicate previous work, but also extend it by exploring potential interactions between fitness level and mental stress on distance perception, a combination that is often encountered by soldiers, firefighters, and rescue workers. Mental stress was measured using the State Anxiety Inventory test (Spielberger, Reheiser, & Sydeman, 1995) and cardiovascular fitness was measured using MET scores (Jurca et al., 2005). Physical stress was manipulated by asking participants to estimate distances and then walk blindly to the target while carrying a backpack weighing 20% of their weight. We were unable to replicate Proffitt. We did however find a positive correlation between cardiovascular fitness and error in the second block of the blind walking task for the heavy backpack condition, r(22) = -.45, p = 0.03.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
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Honors in the Major Thesis
Rosen, Monica, "The Effects of Stress on Distance Perception" (2013). HIM 1990-2015. 1542.