11.07.2019 in Exploratory

Perception Essay Sample


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Perception is one of the fields or aspects of scientific psychology, and several theories have been developed about its underlying processes and mechanisms. Research suggests that one of the oldest quantitative principles in psychology is the Weber-Fenchner law, which serves to quantify the relationship between the strength of physical stimuli and the resultant perceptual effects. Essentially, perception is the systematic process by which organisms organize, understand, and interpret sensation to produce a meaningful experience of the world (Sekuler & Blake, 2001). It is the selection, organization, and interpretation of sensory input, which entails obtaining information about both the internal and external environments. Ideally, the way we perceive our environment is what makes us very different from other animals and, of course, different from each other. Perception describes an individual’s ultimate experience of the world. The process of perception enables humans and other organisms to perceive various items within their surroundings such as objects, people, events, and situations. An individual without perception ability may not be in a position to understand language, recognize faces, and avoid threats from either external factors or internal factors (Sekuler & Blake, 2001).

Functions of Perception

  • Perception is very necessary for converting raw and unprocessed sensory input into meaningful, important, or vital information. Therefore, we are able to know what is going on either in our own bodies or in our immediate external environment. Through perception, we are also very able to deal with various aspects of our environment with regard to our motives.
  • Perception is an encoding process and enables organisms to put sensory inputs into various categories (Bruce et al., 2003).

Types of perception

Visual Perception

This is one of the senses, and it consists primarily of the ability to detect and successfully interpret light, as the sense that is widely known as naked-eye vision or sight. Research suggests that visual perception has a very specific sensory system.

Color Vision

This is perception that represents various psychophysical elements and phenomena that exist in our minds. Ideally, a green apple cannot produce green light; however, it absorbs all the different frequencies of light shining on it except the ones referred to as green. Therefore, an apple can be perceived as either green or red because humans have the unique ability of identifying and distinguishing different frequencies in their environment. For individuals to perceive or see any color, there are three aspects that must be present or available, and these include a sample to be viewed, a source of light, and a detector, which in this case is the eye (Sekuler & Blake, 2001).

Depth Perception

This type of perception enables an individual to perceive distance and to perceive the world in three dimensions. At the outset, this ability may appear very simple and easy; nevertheless, its complexity is underlined by the fact that the images projected on every retina are always two-dimensional. For any individual to perceive depth, he/she has to depend on two crucial sources of information, which are binocular disparity and monocular cues. Monocular cues

Monocular cues: Allow us to perceive depth with one eye

Binocular cues: Allow us to perceive depth with two eyes

Muller-Lyer Illusion

Refers to an optical illusion consisting of stylized arrows. It is based on the Gestalt principles of divergence and convergence, that is, the lines at the side tend to lead the eye either outward or inward to establish a false impression of length. Is consists of an optical illusion in which a particular line with inward pointing arrowheads is perceived as longer than an equal line with outward pointing arrowheads (Gregory et al., 1995).

Gestalt Law of Grouping

Gestalt psychology was founded or suggested by three psychologists of German origin. Tehse pscychologists included, Max Werthimer, Kurt Koffka and Wolfgang. Essentially, they identified various principles that determine the way individuals organize and arrange isolated parts of visual stimuli into whole objects and into groups. They suggested four cardinal rules for grouping and they include closure, continuity, similarity, proximity and common fate. Additionally, a sixth law of simplicity encompasses all the five laws.

1. Proximity

The law of proximity underlines that the closer objects are to one another, the more likely individuals are to group them together. The principle of proximity is also referred to as the principle of nearness and it enable all individual to group all the objects that they see based on their proximity to each other. Based on this law, visual stimuli that are close together are grouped together (Sekuler & Blake, 2001).

2. Similarity

This law prompts individuals to relate or link items or parts of the visual field that are similar in lightness, color, shape, or any other relevant quality.  Whenever the distances between various objects or elements are similar, the oneness, which is underlined by physical similarity, is grouped together, based on the principle of similarity (Sekuler & Blake, 2001).

3. Continuity

The law or principle of continuity enables us to see a line as continuing is a particular direction without interruption or disruption. That is the lines are perceived as having no abrupt turns and bends. Based on this law, lines are perceived to be continuous even though they may be bended and interrupted (Sekuler & Blake, 2001).

4. Closure

Closure is the law that underlines that individuals prefer complete form as opposed to incomplete forms. This tendency enables individual to perceive and discern whole object forms from imperfect and incomplete object forms.

5. Common Fate

The law of common fate enables individuals to group together objects that move in a similar direction. Because of this law, individuals see schools of fish of flocks of birds as one unit or item.

6. Simplicity

Overall, the most crucial tenet of Gestalt psychologists is the law of simplicity. The law of simplicity encompasses all other laws and it underline that all individuals intuitively prefer the simplest of all the possible or suitable organizations.

Figure and Ground

In real sense perception involves a little more than just grouping and organization. It entails distinguishing various objects from their immediate surroundings. Whenever an individual perceives an object, the area around the particular object becomes the background. For example, when you look at a picture on the hanged on the wall, the wall behind it becomes the background.

Therefore, the figure or object is closer to the individual, while the background is further away. In addition, Gestalt psychologists have outlined ambiguous figure relationships, which represent drawings in which the ground and the figure can always be reversed to underline the fact that the whole is actually different from the total of its arts.

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