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Describe the Findings and Conclusions of Gibson and Walks Visual Cliff

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Outline the Procedure of Gibson and Walk's "Visual Cliff" Gibson and Walk set up an experiment that followed a repeated measures design. They created a contraption to simulate a cliff that could be easily manipulated to investigate different aspects of perception. They suspended a heavy and stable sheet of glass several feet above the floor. On one side of the glass, a checked fabric was attached flush to the underside of the glass, giving that half of the platform the appearance of solidity. On the floor, directly beneath the other side of the glass, the same cloth is placed, creating the illusion that the solid surface drops several feet to the level of the floor below. ...read more.


Gibson and walk used several controls in order to eliminate any confounding variables or bias. In order to stop any reflections from the surface of the glass, the platform was lit from beneath. To ensure that the patterned fabric effectively created the illusion of depth, the cloth was replaced with a homogenous and Gibson and Walk found that, following this adaption, rats were unable to distinguish between the deep and shallow sides. To verify the experiment further, Gibson and Walk placed the fabric on both sides flush with the bottom of the glass and found that the rats moved indiscriminately between both sides. When one both sides were lowered, the rats refused to move off the centre board. ...read more.


The use of animals gave insight into perception further as they were able to compare the reactions of animals that are more visual (such as cats, which rely on vision greatly to hunt) and animals that rely more on other senses (such as rats, which are mainly nocturnal and rely more on tactical cues from their vibrissae. It also allowed them to investigate with dark-reared animals, to explore which cues they learn to respond to first. It was also possible to manipulate the spacing and sizes of the check pattern, to see how this could affect depth perception and the different cues such as motion parallax and the distance of the pattern, which decreases and increases the size and spacing of the pattern elements projected on the retina. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

The writer needs to start the essay by explaining why the experiment took place, when and for what purpose. Then the writer can go into the detail of the actual experiment itself. Although some of these experiments were then carried out with animals the writer needs to point out that using the results of animal experiment results to then describe human behaviour is flawed.

It should be made clear why the experiments were carried out on different animals and for what reason.
Overall, however, the nature of the experiment itself is described well.


3 Star

Marked by teacher Linda Penn 01/05/2013

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