Naive optics: acting on mirror reflections.J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 2005 Oct; 31(5):1023-38.JE
It is known that naive observers have striking misconceptions about mirror reflections. In 5 experiments, this article systematically extends the findings to graphic stimuli, to interactive visual tasks, and finally to tasks involving real mirrors. The results show that the perceptual knowledge of nonexpert adults is far superior to their conceptual knowledge. Whereas conceptual errors include the assumption of left-right reversals in mirror images and often blatant extensions of the boundary of mirror space, the perceptual context prevents most such errors. However, a consistent bias to misjudge objects in mirrors too far to the outside is demonstrable in all cases including tasks with real mirrors. The authors present a 2-stage hypothesis consisting of an implicit bias of judging the mirror surface to be turned toward the observer's line of sight followed by a normalization that becomes explicit.