Hancock, P.A. (2004). Do children have one-third less peripheral vision than adults? International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 10(2), 191-195.
(Featured in: The Forum: Forensics Professional Group of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 25(2), 3)
The following report is a case study example of how problematic information can invade and percolate through the literature on forensic human factors and ergonomics. Initially, a highly doubtful assertion was used to bolster an argument made in a legal case of wrongful death. The assertion was supported through reference to a number of cited works. When the trail of evidence was pursued, however, it became clear that diverse citations had all branched from one, single, original and doubtful source. The fundamental issue, whether children have one third less peripheral vision than adults turns out to be much more complex than the original, simplistic spatial conception suggested. The case study illustrates the importance of ascertaining original citations and is yet another example of the frustration that often accompanies forensic activity where financial and legal concerns frequently over-ride the fundamental search for knowledge.
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