Previous studies showed that what subjects haptically perceive as parallel deviates largely from what is actually physically parallel [Perception 28 (1999) 1001; Acta Psychol. 109 (2002) 25; Perception 28 (1999) 781]. It also turned out that the deviations were strongly subject-dependent. It was hypothesized that what is haptically parallel is decided in a frame of reference intermediate to an allocentric and an egocentric one. The purposes of the present study were to collect more evidence for this hypothesis and to investigate the factor(s) that determines the specific weighting between the two reference frames.We found a highly significant reversal of a haptic oblique effect (in this context: larger systematic deviations for oblique orientations) for subjects with large deviations. This reversal provides convincing evidence that an intermediate frame of reference is used for the decision of haptic parallelity. Contrary to common expectation, several factors that might have been of influence on the weighting of the two frames of reference, such as arm length, arm span, shoulder width, turned out to be irrelevant. Surprisingly, the only factors that seem to be of influence are gender and job experience or education.
- Frame of reference
- Oblique effect