Head - body ratio as a visual cue for stature in people and sculptural art

Mather , George (2010) Head - body ratio as a visual cue for stature in people and sculptural art. Perception, 39 (10). pp. 1390-1395. ISSN 0301-0066

Full content URL: http://www.perceptionweb.com/abstract.cgi?id=p6737

Documents
Head - body ratio as a visual cue for stature in people and sculptural art

Request a copy
[img] PDF
Mather_2010.pdf - Whole Document
Restricted to Repository staff only

466kB

Abstract

Body size is crucial for determining the outcome of competition for resources and mates. Many species use acoustic cues to measure caller body size. Vision is the pre-eminent sense for humans, but visual depth cues are of limited utility in judgments of absolute body size.The reliability of internal body proportion as a potential cue to stature was assessed with a large sample of anthropometric data, and the ratio of head height to body height (HBR) was found to be highly correlated with stature. A psychophysical experiment was carried out to investigate whether the cue actually influences stature judgments. Participants were shown pairs of photo-
graphs of human figures in which HBR had been manipulated systematically, and asked to select the figure that appeared taller. Results showed that figures with a relatively small HBR were con-sistently perceived as taller than figures with a relatively large HBR. Many classical statues such as Michelangelo's David depart from the classical proportions defined in Leonardo's Vitruvian
Man. A supplementary experiment showed that perceived stature in classical statues also depends on HBR. Michelangelo's David was created with the HBR of a man 165 cm (5 ft 5 in) tall.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Body size is crucial for determining the outcome of competition for resources and mates. Many species use acoustic cues to measure caller body size. Vision is the pre-eminent sense for humans, but visual depth cues are of limited utility in judgments of absolute body size.The reliability of internal body proportion as a potential cue to stature was assessed with a large sample of anthropometric data, and the ratio of head height to body height (HBR) was found to be highly correlated with stature. A psychophysical experiment was carried out to investigate whether the cue actually influences stature judgments. Participants were shown pairs of photo- graphs of human figures in which HBR had been manipulated systematically, and asked to select the figure that appeared taller. Results showed that figures with a relatively small HBR were con-sistently perceived as taller than figures with a relatively large HBR. Many classical statues such as Michelangelo's David depart from the classical proportions defined in Leonardo's Vitruvian Man. A supplementary experiment showed that perceived stature in classical statues also depends on HBR. Michelangelo's David was created with the HBR of a man 165 cm (5 ft 5 in) tall.
Keywords:Head - body ratio, HBR
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:4736
Deposited By: Alison Wilson
Deposited On:13 Oct 2011 11:10
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 09:02

Repository Staff Only: item control page