An Introduction to Psychology
Perception – is what I see the same the same as what you see
When you look at an ambiguous drawing or image – your brain attempts to make sense of ambiguous image with insufficient information to settle on one interpretation or another (a space relations image).
It seems that perception is not just a matter of passively picking up information from the senses but the product of an active construction process. The brain works on the information it receives and attempts to make sense of it, so that what we see is actually a combination of sensory stimulation and interpretation.
Perceiving_ the Real World_
What we know about reality is limited by the capabilities of our sense organs.
Interestingly, the ability to detect a signal accurately is not just dependent on sensory organs but many factors such as our motivations, expectations or inclinations. For example, if you are waiting on a phone call, you may think you heard the phone ring when it did not while if you are engrossed in a TV show, you may not hear it ring when it does.
Signal detection theory suggests that accurate perception is determined not just by sensory capacity but a combination of sensory capabilities and decision processes.
All senses respond better to changes in the environment than to a steady state and receptors stop responding altogether when nothing changes – getting used to construction works outside your window.
Organised perception enables us to discern patterns in what we perceive so as to make sense of it – this happens naturally and effortlessly for us.
So how do we organise what we see
Figure ground perception – think of those images where you see either a vase of 2 silhouettes but not both at once. If you look at the vase, the silhouettes disappear, becoming the ground which the figure stands out from.
Proximity- perceptually we group things together that are close to each other...