Evidence of different developmental trajectories for length estimation according to egocentric and allocentric viewpoints in children and adults.

Nicolas Poirel, Manuel Vidal, Arlette Pineau, Céline Lanoë, Gaëlle Leroux, Amélie Lubin, Marie-Renée Turbelin, Alain Berthoz, Olivier Houdé
Experimental Psychology. 2011-11-01; 58(2): 142-146
DOI: 10.1027/1618-3169/a000079

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This study investigated the influence of egocentric and allocentric viewpoints on
a comparison task of length estimation in children and adults. A total of 100
participants ranging in age from 5 years to adulthood were presented with virtual
scenes representing a park landscape with two paths, one straight and one
serpentine. Scenes were presented either from an egocentric or allocentric
viewpoint. Results showed that when the two paths had the same length,
participants always overestimated the length of the straight line for allocentric
trials, whereas a development from a systematic overestimation in children to an
underestimation of the straight line length in adults was found for egocentric
trials. We discuss these findings in terms of the influences of both
bias-inhibition processes and school acquisitions.


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