A new study on mirrors concludes that people cannot always relate spatially to mirrors. They think their image should be visible, even when it is impossible due to the viewer’s location. The other study says that our perceptions of our appearance can be dramatically altered by the mirror.
Dr Marco Bertamini, from the University of Liverpool School of Psychology conducted a number of experiments by covering a mirror on a wall and inviting participants to walk along a line parallel to the mirror. He asked them to guess the point at which they would be able to see their reflection. Results showed that people believe they can see themselves even before they are level with the near edge of the mirror.
"People tend not to understand that the location of the viewer matters in terms of what is visible in a mirror,” Bertamini says. “A good example of this is what we call the Venus Effect, which relates to the many famous paintings of the goddess Venus, looking in a small mirror. If you were to look at these paintings, you would assume that Venus is admiring her own face, because you see her face in the mirror. Your viewpoint, however, is rather different from hers; if you can see her in the mirror then she would see you in the mirror."
Click here for more about the Venus Effect study.