We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Factors Affect the Perception of Space?

By Synthia L. Rose
Updated Feb 08, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Space perception, or the awareness of a person's position relative to other objects occupying the same environment, is affected by a multitude of factors, including the five senses as perceived through sensory organs, balance and gravity. Smells, sights, tactile experience and sounds all fuse together to create a unified perception of space that allows people to orient themselves to the world and forge an understanding of reality. Even the colloquial phrase “close enough to taste it” suggests that gustatory senses can also affect how one perceives space. Additionally, psychologists believe that the psyche is another factor that enhances perception of space, allowing people to fill in details about that which cannot be experienced or confirmed immediately with the concrete senses; this is the case when perceiving an object as three-dimensional. Three dimensionality can’t be viewed with the eyes, which are binocular and do not see three dimensions of an object without a person rotating position or rotating an object itself and remembering the sides of the object that are not seen at present.

Visual perception, which relies on the retinas of the eyes for sensing what is seen, is believed to be the main factor that affects perception of space. Width, height, depth and shapes are among the characteristics determined by sight. The eyes also notice which objects in space occupy certain planes; objects can be vertical to the viewer, horizontal or sagittal. Physicists cite gravity as an influence that affects how closely an object appears to a plane.

Sight enables viewers to map out whether their position is above, beneath or alongside landmarks in space. It also adds color to what is perceived in the environment. Finally, this main source of space perception enables one to notice interactions between various objects.

The second most important factor in perception of space, according to studies, is the sense of balance, or equilibrium. Even in dim light or in a state of complete blindness, balance can enable one to determine which way is up or down or where the ground and sky are in relation to the body. The ability to maintain balance and remain stationary can limit illusions and distortions in the perception of space. By contrast, the kinesthetic experience of moving the body can make objects in space appear smaller or larger.

Olfactory perception and auditory perception depend on the nose smelling and the ears hearing how near or far objects are. In the case of the hearing experience, quirks such as echoes and muffled sounds can reveal unique details about the environment. Even when all of the senses work together with gravity, the psyche and balance to create spatial awareness, scientists say that people must still judge, correct and constantly analyze stimuli to verify that their perception is reliable.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Populartesi — On Dec 11, 2013

Since space perception is based on equilibrium and sight, I would expect that space perception might change for those who have inner ear problems or have serious visual impairments. Obviously, for those with vertigo, it can be difficult to be aware of where you body is relative to other objects, which is why it’s so disorienting. But are there any studies or stories out there that focus on space perception in those with visual, auditory or balance impairments and how they’ve learned to cope?

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.