Date of Award

August 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Psychology

Committee Member

Christopher Pagano

Committee Member

Patrick Rosopa

Committee Member

Sabarish Babu


We interact with rotating panels like doors in our day-to-day life. Doors afford the action of entry and exit from an enclosed space. Since a rotating door can pose a risk of collision to a person standing within the swept volume of the door, the ability to judge a safe distance from the door is imperative. The current study investigated the optical information available to judge whether a rotating panel would collide with or bypass a stationary object nearby. On a desktop computer, participants saw the top-down view of a door-like panel, which rotated about one of three different axes of rotation. A stationary object was placed at a certain distance, within or outside the swept volume of the panel. Analysis by Cabe (2019) shows that, as a panel rotates towards a nearby object, there is a definite pattern of change in the angle subtended on the object, by the edge of the panel moving towards the object. This study empirically tested whether participants utilize this optical information to judge an imminent collision or bypass. Results suggest that the pattern of change in angle helps observers in judging the event accurately. More importantly, the results also indicate that proper feedback can help in improving such affordance judgments.



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