4Parsons studies - Lawrence Parsons Work on Mental...

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Lawrence Parsons’ Work on Mental Transformations Study 1 : Observers viewed a picture of a standing human figure with one arm outstretched. Task was to judge as quickly as possible whether the raised arm was the left or the right arm. The figure was presented in a wide variety of orientations. RT results consistent with the hypothesis that in performing the judgment observers imagined progressive reorientations of their own bodies from an upright position to the orientation of the stimulus figure. Study 2 : Same except observers were explicitly asked to imagine themselves changing their orientation to match that of each displayed figure. Very similar results to Study 1. Follow-up studies : Awkwardness ratings for various bodily reorientations; computed estimates of efficient path length; actual movement times for hand reorientations. All these were highly correlated with the results of Studies 1 and 2.
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Parsons’ Conclusions : (1) When observers make left-right judgments of, say, a
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