Action effects on visual perception of distances: A multilevel Bayesian meta-analysis


Some studies suggested that action constraints influence visual perception of distances. For instance, the greater the effort to cover a distance, the longer people perceive this distance. The present multilevel Bayesian meta-analysis supports the existence of a small action constraint effect on distance estimation, Hedge’s g = 0.29, 95% CrI 0.16, 0.47. This effect slightly varied according to the action constraint category (i.e., effort, weight, and tool-use) but not according to participants’ motor intention. Some authors argued such effects reflect experimental demand biases rather than genuine perceptual effects. Our meta-analysis did not allow to dismiss this possibility, but it did not support it. We provide field-specific conventions for interpreting action constraint effect sizes and minimum sample size to detect them with various levels of power. We encourage researchers to update this meta-analysis using our online repository ( to send their published or unpublished data.

In press at Psychological Science
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