Moon Illusion Essay

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Moon Illusion:
A Continued study of Existing Hypothesis
Xinran Wei
PSYC 182
Reading Group 12

Moon Illusion: A Continued study of Existing Hypothesis
One of the most extraordinary optical illusions in nature, the moon illusion has attracted attention from generations of scientists. It seemed that despite of the distance between earth and moon did not change, the size of the moon appeared larger in the horizon but smaller at zenith. The debate of explanation behind this illusion had never stopped. Starting from as early as 330 B.C, Aristotle had discussed the moon illusion and explained it as effect of atmospheric phenomenon occurred close to the horizon (J. T. Enright, 1975). Later advocate of this reasoning stated
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If the relative size hypothesis is true, the effect of moon illusion should be somewhat attenuated when no references objects appeared at horizon or lots of detailed reference objects appeared close to zenith moon as illustrated by the experiments conducted by Bilderback et al. However the experiment described in essay Distance Perception in Darkness is not thorough in that it only considered situation in the complete darkness. The hypothesis depended not on light and darkness; therefore it should work under light condition as well. Thus, hypothesis could be made that when no reference objects are present near the horizon and zenith, the moon illusion would be greatly attenuated and perceived difference should be smaller even under condition within light up …show more content…
Differences between pictures and real condition may cause inaccuracy in the result. Further research could be made regarding people of different background. As depicted by Segall et al.’s essay on the topic of relation between cultural differences and geometric illusion, cultural differences do play a role in how people perceive distance and sizes. For example, would people living on flat geographic area such as Africa perceive moon illusion differently compared to people living in city filled with skyscrapers like New York? A thorough study on different culture groups will add up to the comprehensiveness of the study of moon

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