Brian Day

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2015


The purpose of this experiment was to investigate if people can accurately judge their ability to traverse a gap, and to observe if they exhibited a 'margin of safety' in their judgments. It is important that people are able to perceive their environment in such a way that promotes safe and successful action. Participants were asked to judge whether a gap was traversable. Participants were split into groups with varying constraints on the task in the experiment, where some participants had a time constraint and others did not. Participants gave a judgment for 36 randomized distances about whether or not they could cross the gap, whether they would step or leap over the gap, and how safe it would be to perform that action on a 7-point scale. We found that participants exhibited a "margin of safety" in their judgments. We also found that participants were able to recognize when a gap surpassed their actual maximum stepping ability and they exhibited increased safety ratings as a result.


Poster presentation at Clemson University 10th Annual Focus on Creative Inquiry Forum, Clemson, SC.