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ERIC Number: EJ1007593
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 62
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
Changing Perspective: Zooming in and out during Visual Search
Solman, Grayden J. F.; Cheyne, J. Allan; Smilek, Daniel
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v39 n2 p348-364 Apr 2013
Laboratory studies of visual search are generally conducted in contexts with a static observer vantage point, constrained by a fixation cross or a headrest. In contrast, in many naturalistic search settings, observers freely adjust their vantage point by physically moving through space. In two experiments, we evaluate behavior during free vantage point (FVP) search, using observer-controlled zooming to simulate movement toward or away from search objects. We focus on "scope fluctuations"--repeated reversals in the direction of zooming during search. We found increased fluctuation when search items were sparse (Experiment 1) or of mixed size (Experiment 2). We propose that during FVP search, observers attempt to maximize the number of simultaneously discriminable items. Scope fluctuations emerge when maximizing does not enable simultaneous access to all search items, or when observers become disoriented in the search environment, necessitating repeated switches to a broad scope to reorient. (Contains 7 figures and 4 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada