Does the perceptual process help the individual to see the outside world as it really is? And if so, is the awareness of reality the main function of this process? According to many psychologists, sociologists and scientists the perceptual process is an important influential factor to the awareness of the reality. To them, it is essential for individuals to step outside their own world to see the actual world as it really is. However, others think people are influenced by different kinds of stimuli, feelings and impressions whether they are, or are not aware of the perceptual process. They also think everybody should experience the world as the individual himself desires to. In this essay, perception and the perceptual process will be explained. Also different viewings on the perceptual process will be described. Moreover, the influence of language on behaviour will be conveyed and described will be the process of how different people select information that is provided. Finally, stereotyping and prejudices will be explained. Perception
Perception is a way of observing things. It is the way of how different people see different things and how their perception is influenced by their experience, attitudes, feelings, norms and values. Whether a person sees something as if it is positive or negative depends on his or her perception. Perception is often described as glasses which everybody wears, but of which we are not aware. (Meijer, 1997) Martin O’Grady (2001, pp. 78 – 79) describes perception as: the psychological process of actively selecting and organising stimulus information detected by the sensory organs so as to create conscious awareness. By that, he means that perception is actually an active process, unlike sensation. He explains that perception involves different people making their own personal interpretation of the sensory information detected by their sense organs (O’Grady, 2001). This means that everybody sees, hears, smells, feels or tastes the same thing, but we all experience this in a different way. The perceptual process
The perceptual process contains of four different phases. The first phase is sensation. Heffner (2001) explains the word sensation as followed: Sensation is the process by which our senses gather information and send it to the brain. By this he means that people sense different information as taste, brightness of lights, someone talking, smell of perfume, etc. He also explains that most of these senses often are not recognised by people, people do not notice radio waves or miniscule parasites crawling on their skin. There are two different thresholds in this phase. An absolute threshold is the point where something becomes noticeable to someone’s senses. It is the point at which stimulus go from undetectable to detectable, Heffner explains. A difference threshold, he describes, is a person notices the change in different stimulus. Thus, the difference threshold is the amount of change needed for a person to recognize that a change has occurred. (Heffner, 2001) The second phase is selection. Perceptual selection is the process through which people filter out the information which they do not need (Basini, S. 2010) Perceptual selection is influenced by two main headings: External factors and internal factors. External factors are the stimulus or information which are unusual, change or sense the organs to a great level. Internal factors are the persons’ personal status for example. Also factors about the person are internal factors. (Basini, S. 2010) “Something that has meaning to you, you will listen to or will draw your attention” Basini, S. 2010. The third phase of the perceptual process is organisation. Perceptual organisation is about organising and patterning information. People organise stimuli because patterned information is better than chaos and people tend to simplify information because of this. Organising information can mean categorising people into pre...
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