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Impact Factor:0.917 | Ranking:Psychology 64 out of 76 | Psychology, Experimental 80 out of 85
Source:2016 Release of Journal Citation Reports, Source: 2015 Web of Science Data

Performance and Ease Influence Perceived Speed

  1. Jessica K Witt
  2. Mila Sugovic
  1. Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, 703 Third Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2046, USA
  1. e-mail: jkwitt{at}purdue.edu


According to the action-specific perception account, perception is a function of optical information and the perceiver's ability to perform the intended action. While most of the evidence for the action-specific perception account is on spatial perception, in the current experiments we examined similar effects in the perception of speed. Tennis players reproduced the time the ball traveled from the feeder machine to when they hit it. The players judged the ball to be moving faster on trials when they hit the ball out-of-bounds than on trials where they successfully hit the ball in-bounds. Follow-up experiments in the laboratory showed that participants judged virtual balls to be moving slower when they played with a bigger paddle in a modified version of Pong. These studies suggest that performance and task ease influence perceived speed.

  • Received March 25, 2010.
  • Revision received August 28, 2010.
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