Reference Entry

Gibson, James Jerome

in American National Biography Online


Published online February 2000 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697

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psychologist, was born in McConnelsville, Ohio, the son of Thomas B. Gibson, a railroad surveyor, and Mary Gertrude Stanbery. The Gibsons followed the rails around the upper Midwest before settling in Wilmette, Illinois, where Gibson attended high school. Gibson later remembered that by “the age of eight I knew what the world looked like from a railroad train and how it seemed to flow inward when seen from the rear platform and expand outward when seen from the locomotive” (Reasons for Realism [1982], p. 7). He put this experience to good use, becoming the first major visual theorist to make movement central to his account of perception.

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