Perception and Attention

Topics: Perception, Psychology, Sense Pages: 6 (1884 words) Published: April 15, 2013
Perception and Attention
People will perceive the world not in the same way. For example, two people may look at a cloud, and they both may say they see two different things. One may say they see a rabbit whereas the other person may say they see a dog. Perception aids in a persons information process. Attention aids the impact of information in a person's long-term memory (Robinson Riegler & Robinson-Riegler, 2008). This paper will define the concept of perception and the perceptual organizational process. The paper will also define attention and the process of attention as well as explain the relationship between perception and attention. Concept of Perception

Perception refers to a person's understanding of what they observe through their own individual senses. What a person perceives in their environment is critical to their own survival. With perception people are not only able to experience what is around their sphere; it also allows people to work around their environment. According to Hudson (2012), perception entails of several senses such as taste, smell, sight, and touch. Perception also entails of Proprioception, which is another form of human senses. Proprioception is the sense of the positioning of person’s steps in their immediate area (Leoyne, Coroian, Mastroianni, & Grundfest, 2008). This type of sense is commonly used by police officers when they stop a vehicle and have reasonable suspicion the subject is intoxicated. Perception also entails the cognitive processes needed to process information like identifying a familiar smell or remembering a friend. Psychologist Gregory, R., believed that perception was a hypothesis, which solely relied on top-down processing. Gregory argued that perception entailed making implications of what a person sees and attempting to make a best guess on it. Experiences and knowledge, Gregory believed were vital to perception (Wade, 2010). If an individual looks at something they create perception hypotheses based on past knowledge. Typically, these hypotheses are correct and in some rare occasion can be untrue by information a person perceives. Contrary to Gregory, psychologist Gibson, J. argued that perception is direct because there is sufficient data in people’s environment to make their worlds sense in a direct way (Mace, 2005). Gibson believed that sensation is perception: what a person sees is what they get (Mace, 2005). Perceptual Organizational Process

When discussing perceptual organizational processes one must know there are important components referred to as principles involved. Psychologist Wertheimer and other Gestalt psychologists were interested in the process of perceptual and mental organization, and proposed the principles (grouping) of visual organization (Robinson-Riegler & Robinson-Riegler, 2008). Gestalt psychologists thought the principles were the foundation of perception, they account for most of the “order” that individuals see in their visual surroundings (Robinson-Riegler & Robinson-Riegler, 2008).

The following principles are involved in the perceptual organizational process, proximity similarity, and good continuation (Robinson-Riegler & Robinson-Riegler, 2008). Proximity refers to the inclination for items close to one another, for example in a grocery store the canned corn is placed with a precise proximity. Similarity principle dictates that objects be grouped to the extent that they are similar to one another, for example a child may separate his block by putting the blue blocks on one side and red on the other. The good continuation principle refers to one’s tendency to perceive lines as flowing naturally, in a particular direction. For example, the letter X seems to be two lines that cross instead of two connected 45 degree angles (Robinson-Riegler & Robinson-Riegler, 2008).

The Gestalt theory of perceptual organization focuses on giving the details of how the visual system organizes the arriving flow of visual information...
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