Research Learning Center

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Saturday, April 16, 23, and 30

10 A.M. to 1 P.M.

Does desire affect our perception of distance?

Does your attitude towards an object influence your ability to estimate your distance from it?  Research* has suggested that objects we are interested in appear physically closer to us, even if we think emotions are not impacting our logical estimation skills.

In this study, participants will be asked to face objects that may or may not be desirable. Each participant will match the distance between the object and himself with a visual distance cue by walking towards or away from the object. This study can help us better understand how emotions influence our visual perception.

 *This experiment is based on:

 Balcetis, E., & Dunning, D. (2009). Wishful seeing more desired objects are seen as closer. Psychological science.


1 to 4 P.M.

How can we make walking and biking safe? 

Our willingness to walk, run, or bike can be influenced by perception of safety. This study aims to improve the quality of the data available to local  governments by developing a crowd-sourcing app for improving bicyclist and pedestrian safety.

 Studies have shown that crowdsourcing can increase the information available on a specific issue.  For example, walkers, riders, and observers can capture the nature and types of conflicts that bicyclists and pedestrians encounter on dangerous areas. This sudy will provide you with the opportunity to be involved in developing an app for reporting incidents where a crash might have happened during a walk, run, or bike ride in your neighborhood. Talk to researchers about ways you can contribute to a stronger understanding of road and safety conditions in your neighborhood.

The research is a collaborative project between the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs, the Department of Civil Engineering, the Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington, and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. For further questions about the research, please contact Dr. Colleen Casey at



Fun Fact

The OMNI sound system has 50 speakers, driven by 8 amplifiers that produce over 24,000 watts of sound through 6 channels and a giant sub-bass stack to give the audience that “you are there” feeling.

Charlie Noble callout

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