Distortion of Spatial Size Perception by the Pattern of Object Distribution

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An attempt has been made to prove the so-called ‘feature accumulation theory’. It is the theory describing that people tend to feel the same space with more identifiable objects much larger than that with fewer objects. Applying this theory to our cognition of spatial size, this paper made an experiment. Students were asked that if the lecture room they are sitting becomes a module (module 1), then how large are the questioned spaces in the campus. The result was striking. Through the mental image processing, they answered that the library and the architecture building looks much smaller than they actually are, and more surprisingly the basketball field much more smaller than it really is. This experiment shows that there is a strong tendency by which people regard the space much larger when there are more occupiable or behavior-causing elements in the space. In the case of basketball field, since there is nothing that can be occupied, this open space is seen as a small space for the subjects. This line of cognitive perception can be applied to the practice of urban planning and architectural planning. With the same size of given space, we can make it feel more rich and larger.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-80
JournalKIEAE Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


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