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Age Changes in Apparent Arm Length USPHS

Baker, A. Harvey; Schlater, Jerry A.; Wapner, Seymour
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
United States Public Health Service (USPHS), Age Differences, Body Image, Developmental Psychology, Kinesthetic Perception, Perception Tests


To assess whether an earlier finding--viz., that overstimation of apparent head size was maximal in early childhood and decreased with increase in age (Wapner, 1959)-is generalizable to other parts, the present study ranging from 7 through 18 years. All age groups underestimated arm length, with the magnitude of underestimation decreasing with increase in age--a pattern opposite to that found for head size. Although the age changes observed for both judged head size and length can be described as reflecting an increase in accuracy, such a formulation in terms of accuracy cannot explain why young children maximally overestimate head size and maximally underestimate arm length. It is suggested that future research should explore the possibility that these observed differences reflect differential organization of the body scheme at different levels of development. (13pp.)

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