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Transcript of perception
and treat other parts of it as background (ground). Figure and ground We have a natural tendency to look for meaning in what we see and to group our perceptual experiences together into shapes and patterns. Visual grouping Our expectations can also influence how we perceive things. Expectations Many interpretations we routinely make about the world happen at an unconscious level. The role of the unconscious In a psychology experiment, subjects were asked to put on spectacles which inverted their image of the world. For the first few days they were completely disoriented and saw everything as being upside down. But their brains soon flipped the images so that they saw the world the right way up again. When the glasses were removed at the end of the experiment, they again experienced everything as upside down for a while until their vision returned to normal. Selectivity of Perception A lot of data is constantly flooding in to our senses, and our minds would overload if we were consciously aware of everything, so we only notice some things in our perceptual field and overlook others. Perception is selective. Two factors that determine what kind of stimuli we usually notice are intensity and contrast. What you perceive also depends on subjective factors such as interest and mood. Your interests can be thought of as filters, which determine what shows up as you scan the world around you. Feelings and emotions also shape and colour our perceptions. ‘He who has been bitten by a snake fears a piece of string.’ What emerges from recent research is that the eye is not a camera and visual memories are not photographs that can be universally relied on to give an accurate record of what we have seen. In fact, it might be more accurate to say that every time we remember something, we reconstruct it. 3 reasons to treat perception with caution: Distinguishing appearance from reality oWe may misinterpret what we see
oWe may fail to notice something
oWe may misremember what we have seen. How do we distinguish between appearance and reality in everyday life? One way to distinguish appearance from reality is to use a second sense to confirm the evidence of a first. Confirmation by another sense If you see something that does not ‘fit in’ with your overall experience of the world, then the chances are that you are mistaken. Coherence The testimony of other people increases the credibility of evidence. Independent testimony Ultimate Reality What is really out there? If you drink a can of cola, it tastes sweet. Does the sweetness exist in the cola or does it exist only in your mouth? You would probably agree that the sweetness is a subjective experience that results from the interaction between your taste buds and the cola. We cannot say that colours, sounds and tases exist out there independent of our experience of them. So we may begin to wonder whether anything can be said to exist independent of our experience of it. Perhaps tables only behave like decent, law-abiding tables when we are there to keep an eye on them; and perhaps when no one is around they dance around the room and turn somersaults. Theories of reality Claims that the senses provide us with direct awareness of the external world Naive Realism A philosophical view that scientific theories are are true descriptions of the physical world Scientific realism matter is simply the permanent possibility of sensation, and it makes no sense to say that the world exists independent of our experience of it. “To be is to be perceived.” Beyond our experience of reality, there is simply nothing to be said. Phenomenalism http://www.philomel.com/mp3/phantom_words/ex/phantom_words_ex1.mp3 This suggests that our reality is constructions of our mind? Oh hey you are so cool! Is a philosophy of mind the claims the sense provides
us with direct awareness of the external world. The problem with scientific realism is something called pessimistic induction. They state that science is constantly changing and thus theories once considered sucessful are refuted. "I think therefore I am" Rene Decartes Do you agree? To what extent does personal bias affect
our ability to perceive? Materalism The only thing that exists in reality is matter or energy Trial and Law Juries put great deal of faith in eye-witnesses. Problem is number of eye-witness
who say a crime has been comitted
often the "murder" DNA test do not match When we remember something
we reconstruct it. We confuse the sources of our memories. Thus our memories are not reliable.