A relationship between tolerance of blur and personality.

Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science

PubMedID: 20505192

Woods RL, Colvin CR, Vera-Diaz FA, Peli E. A relationship between tolerance of blur and personality. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010;51(11):6077-82.
To determine whether tolerance of dioptric spherical defocus is related to measures of personality. Clinical observations suggest that there is individual variability in tolerance of blur.

A computer-controlled Badal optometer was used to measure just-noticeable blur and just-objectionable blur responses to positive lens defocus. Blur tolerance was defined as the difference between these two responses. A personality battery was administered consisting of the NEO-FFI (Neuroticism-Extroversion-Openness-Five Factor Inventory) and the California Adult Q-sort (general measures), as well as individual measures (hypothesis-driven scales) of perfectionism, neuroticism, highly sensitive person, ego resiliency, need for structure, and negative emotionality. Ninety-nine normally sighted subjects (median age, 21 years, median refractive error 0.6 DS) completed both parts of the study.

Within-subject blur tolerance measures with three different pupil sizes correlated highly (r(s) = 0.79-0.86), implying good repeatability. There was a wide range of individual blur tolerance (0.0-2.7 D). The personality questionnaires exhibited acceptable reliability (Cronbach's a = 0.67-0.91). Two perfectionism scales correlated significantly with blur tolerance (r = 0.25 and 0.27). The 15 questionnaire items that correlated most with blur tolerance were factor analyzed and yielded two conceptually meaningful factors (both a = 0.76). The "low self confidence" and "disorganization" factors correlated positively with blur tolerance (r = 0.38 and 0.36, respectively) and their composite correlated with blur tolerance (r = 0.46).

These results provide the first evidence of a relationship between personality and tolerance of blur. Tolerance of blur may be related to perception of image quality. If so, personality may influence refractive error correction and development and other choices that are made when presented with degraded images.