Monocular Cues from Vienna, Austria

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When I cover monocular cues in the perception section of Intro Psych, I like to show students a few photos and have them identify the monocular cues in the photos. This also works as a small group activity – put a photo up on the screen, ask students to huddle up and identify as many monocular cues as they can, then ask volunteers to identify the cues they found.

This is a nice way to show travel photos and give students who haven’t traveled much a different view of the world. The Association for Psychological Science held their 2017 International Conference on Psychological Science in Vienna, Austria. As we’ve been out and about, I’ve been looking for good monocular cue photo opportunities.

Entrance to Hofsburg Palace

In the photo above we see the entrance to the Hofburg Palace. The buildings and the cobblestones provide linear perspective. The streetlight on the right and the streetlight farther down on the left, as do the people, illustrate relative size. Relative height -- the bottom of the image is closer to us and the middle of the image is farther away. Interposition (overlap) can be seen with the people, the streetlights, the wires hanging across the walkway. In the cobblestones, you can see every nook and cranny in the ones up close, but as texture gradient tells us, the cobblestones that appear smoother are farther away.

Largest synagogue in Vienna, Austria


In this photo, the building at the end of the street on the right is the biggest synagogue in Vienna. It survived WWII by looking like any other apartment building.

  • Linear perspective: cobblestones, buildings
  • Relative size: windows
  • Relative height: cobblestones (the closer ones are lower in the field of vision)
  • Interposition: the person overlaps the building
  • Texture gradient: cobblestones (closer ones are more distinct)


Vienna Opera House

This photo is part of the Vienna State Opera. The building was completed in 1869.

  • Linear perspective: columns become narrower
  • Relative size: tables and chairs, lights
  • Relative height: cobblestones (the closer ones are lower in the field of vision)
  • Interposition: the chairs overlap each other
  • Texture gradient: cobblestones (closer ones are more distinct)

While you are certainly welcome to use my photos to illustrate monocular cues, consider working in a few shots on your next trip.

About the Author
Sue Frantz has taught psychology since 1992. She has served on several APA boards and committees, and was proud to serve the members of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology as their 2018 president. In 2013, she was the inaugural recipient of the APA award for Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at a Two-Year College or Campus. She received in 2016 the highest award for the teaching of psychology--the Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award. She presents nationally and internationally on the topics of educational technology and the pedagogy of psychology. She is co-author with Doug Bernstein and Steve Chew of Teaching Psychology: A Step-by-Step Guide, 3rd ed. and is co-author with Charles Stangor on Introduction to Psychology, 4.0.