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Module 1: Visual Illusions

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Psychology -> Ames-room

Ames-room

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This illusion, which makes use of the misperception of distance, was designed by Adelbert Ames. It is a specially contrived room which is built with a trapezoidal rear wall and a sloping floor and ceiling. When viewed from a certain point, it looks like an ordinary rectangular room. But in reality, the left corner of the Ames room is taller and farther from the viewer than the right. Hence, a person standing in the left corner appears very small, whereas one standing in the shorter and nearer right corner looks like a giant. Furthermore, if a person walks across the room from left to right, the viewer is faced with a conflict. If the viewer maintains shape constancy, they continue to perceive the room as square and if they maintain size constancy, they can refuse to see the person 'grow'. Most people maintain shape constancy and as a result perceive the person to 'shrink' and 'grow' as they walk from one side of the Ames room to the other