Sensation, Perception and Attention

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Sensation, Perception and Attention

University of Phoenix

Kessha Perry
July 23, 2011

Sensation and Perception

Perception is defined as a process by which organisms interpret and organize sensation to produce a meaningful experience of the world. Sensation usually refers to the immediate, relatively unprocessed result of stimulation of sensory receptors in the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, or skin. Perception, on the other hand, better describes one's ultimate experience of the world and typically involves further processing of sensory input. In practice, sensation and perception are virtually impossible to separate, because they are part of one continuous process (Comer 2008). During the Learning Team A’s dialogue, we learned much of one another’s feelings toward sensation and perception. We all described what and how we feel it affects us in our daily life. Alberto:

The sensory perception problem is that what we perceive is not always necessarily accurate.  Sometimes my fiancée says asks me about something I said earlier, and I respond by saying I never said that.  I asked that if she has a question about something I said, to ask right away.  We have since realized that I often say one thing and she hears something completely different.  I believe that's because I mumble when I speak.  Therefore, she is forced to mentally fill in the words she misunderstands, so she hears a statement completely different than what I said.  This is a common problem with many people, as exemplified in the popular game where a group of people sit in a circle, one person whispers something to the person next to him, and each person keeps whispering the same thing to the next person until it reaches the original person.  By the time it reaches the original person, the message has completely changed.

The perception problem is not only auditory.  All the perceptions can be fooled.  When I drive on the road on a hot day, I sometimes see what appears to be a wet section of the road ahead, but by the time I reach it, it looks dry.  

I've seen experiments where a person is blindfolded and asked to taste a piece of raw potato, and the person with the blindfold thinks it's a piece of apple.  Several senses often work together to decipher something, but when one of those senses is removed, the perception changes.  

Also, the problem with perception is that expectations sometimes interfere with what is really there.  That is why my fiancee sometimes hears the wrong thing when I speak. If she can't understand me, she will automatically "hear" something else based on the expectations of what she expects me to say.

I agree with you about expectations interfering with reality, I have a big problem with trying to finish other people's sentences; my wife rather enjoys calling me out when it happens and doesn't soon let me forget. I can see where this can roll over into the addiction aspect of psychology, a person can expect a certain result after a certain action time and time again, and become reliant upon that belief, but the reality in the end, might be completely different. Definition of Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result every time.

Kessha : 
Sensory perception for me is that sometimes I can see something and it is not actually what I am seeing. I might read something and it has one meaning but I take it to mean something else. I have learned today that if something is puzzling to me I will ask questions. I am not perfect and have learned how to go to someone else. For example: If you see some one doing something that looks suspicious to you but is actually a good thing it is good to ask what is going on instead of assuming. As you see we all have the same meaning and feelings toward sensory perception. We just all used them in different ways to sometimes come out with the same outcome....
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