Aging persons' estimates of vehicular motion

Psychol Aging. 1992 Dec;7(4):518-25. doi: 10.1037//0882-7974.7.4.518.


Estimated arrival times of moving autos were examined in relation to viewer age, gender, motion trajectory, and velocity. Direct push-button judgments were compared with verbal estimates derived from velocity and distance, which were based on assumptions that perceivers compute arrival time from perceived distance and velocity. Experiment 1 showed that direct estimates of younger Ss were most accurate. Older women made the shortest (highly cautious) estimates of when cars would arrive. Verbal estimates were much lower than direct estimates, with little correlation between them. Experiment 2 extended target distances and velocities of targets, with the results replicating the main findings of Experiment 1. Judgment accuracy increased with target velocity, and verbal estimates were again poorer estimates of arrival time than direct ones, with different patterns of findings. Using verbal estimates to approximate judgments in traffic situations appears questionable.

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over / psychology
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Automobile Driving / psychology*
  • Distance Perception
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motion Perception*
  • Orientation
  • Psychophysics
  • Reaction Time
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors