phenomenal regression

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The tendency for one's perceptions of an object viewed obliquely or at a distance to be intermediate in shape or size between the proximal stimulus and the actual object, or between the proximal stimulus and the perception that would occur if there were perfect object constancy, as when a plate viewed at an angle and from a distance yields a proximal stimulus that is elliptical and small, but the perception is somewhat rounder and larger. Also called phenomenal regression to the real object, the term used by the English psychologist Robert Henry Thouless (1894–1984) when he introduced the concept in 1931.

Subjects: Psychology.

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