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  1. Julian Hochberg

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0221

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Hochberg, J. 2010. Constancy. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. Columbia University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


An object's physical attributes (its size, shape, reflectance, location, and so on) are distal stimuli; our sense organs are activated by patterns of proximal stimulus energies, which change with distance, illumination, and so on. Things do not generally seem to expand when approached or to become darker (less reflective) when moved from light to shade. Such stabilities are termed size constancy, lightness constancy, shape constancy, position constancy, and the like.


  • ecological validity;
  • unconscious inference;
  • proximal stimulation