Using a stick does not necessarily alter judged distances or reachability.

D.D.J. de Grave, E. Brenner, J.B.J. Smeets

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    Background: It has been reported that participants judge an object to be closer after a stick has been used to touch it than after touching it with the hand. In this study we try to find out why this is so. Methodology: We showed six participants a cylindrical object on a table. On separate trials (randomly intermixed) participants either estimated verbally how far the object is from their body or they touched a remembered location. Touching was done either with the hand or with a stick (in separate blocks). In three different sessions, participants touched either the object location or the location halfway to the object location. Verbal judgments were given either in centimeters or in terms of whether the object would be reachable with the hand. No differences in verbal distance judgments or touching responses were found between the blocks in which the stick or the hand was used. Conclusion: Instead of finding out why the judged distance changes when using a tool, we found that using a stick does not necessarily alter judged distances or judgments about the reachability of objects. © 2011 de Grave et al.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere16697
    Number of pages6
    JournalPLoS ONE
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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