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Unit 3. Perception:Why Do Tilings Look the Way They Do?

Unit 3. Perception:Why Do Tilings Look the Way They Do?

Kurt Koffka (1886—1941), one of the founders of Gestalt psychology. said that the great question of perception is: “Why do things look the way they do?1''

At first the question seems almost silly. We are tempted to answer. "Because things are they way they are."' It would seem that tall things look tall because they an tall. And distant things look distant because they art distant. On the other hand, why does the Moon look larger just above the horizon than it does when it’s overhead? It hasn’t gotten any bigger, or any closer. And. if a series of disconnected dots are arranged in the pattern of. say. the letter F, it looks like the letter, not a bunch of disconnected dots—which, it could be argued., it actually is.

Visual images on your retina are up side down.

Nonetheless, you perceive them as right side up. At the level of sensation, it’s an inverted world. At the level of perception, the world doesn’t look inverted at all.

Koffka’s question does not have to be limited to the sense of vision. The same question could be adapted to the other senses. The principles set forth here, largely in connection with vision, can be readily applied to perception in general.

Sensation is the raw data of experience. Perception, on the other hand, is the organization and the meaning we give to primitive information. It can be said with some degree of confidence that we use sensory information to create a psychological world.

Returning to Koffka. he said that there is a distinction between the geographical world and the psychological world. The geographical world is the actual world “out there,” the world as defined and described by physics. The psychological world is the world “in here,” the world as experienced by the subject. Although common sense usually says it’s the so-called “real world” or physical world that determines our behavior, it can be argued that common sense isn’t sufficiently analytical. Reflection suggests that we behave in terms of what we perceive to be true, not necessarily in terms of what is actually true.

If ice is thin in the physical world., and it is solid in your psychological world., you are likely to skate on it. And. of course, you may make a serious mistake as a result.

In sum. it can be argued that we act to a large extent in terms of our perceptions.

And it is for this reason that the study of perception is a basic one in psychology.

TEST

1. According to Koffka. the actual world “out there."' the world as defined by physics is

a. the phenomenal world

b. the geographical world

c. the psychological world

d. the subjective world

2. The capacity to see a bird in the sky is an example of

a. the Ponzo illusion

b. a cell assembly working

c. a monocular cue

d. figure-ground perception

3. One of the following is ног a Gestalt law.

a. Proximity

b. Similarity

c. The cognitive hypothesis

d. Closure

4. What hypothesis states that we not only perceive, but also know what we are perceiving?

a. The cognitive hypothesis

b. The sensory hypothesis

c. The motor-neuron hypothesis

d. The Wertheimer-Koffka hypothesis

5. An illusion is

a. a false belief

b. a kind of hallucination

c. the same thing as a delusion

d. a false perception

6. The vase-faces drawing is said to be ambiguous, meaning that

a. its borders are fuzzy

b. it can be perceived in more than one way

c. it can be perceived in one way only

d. it does not meet the criterion of subjectivity

7. The Moon illusion

a. is caused by large changes in the Moon’s distance from the Earth

b. provides a good example of size constancy

c. provides a case in which size constancy breaks down

d. violates figure-ground perception

S. The principal depth perception cue associated with binocular vision is

a. linear perspective

b. texture gradient

c. motion parallax

d. retinal disparity

9. One of the following is ног a kind of extrasensory perception.

a. Psychokinesis

b. Precognition

c. Telepathy

d. Clairvoyance

10. What is the status of psi powers in psychology as a science?

a. Psi powers are proven facts

b. No one has done experiments on psi powers

c. The reality of psi powers is still open to question

d. Telepathy is real, but clairvoyance is not

True or False

1. T F In the study of perception, a distinction can be made between the geographical world and the psychological world.

2. T F Figure-ground perception is always stable and never reversible.

3. T F Research suggests that there are innate, or inborn, organizing tendencies in perception.

4. T F Learning appears to play no part in perception.

5. T F Clairvoyance is another name for psychokinesis.

Self-check

8. state the Gestalt laws of perception;

9. describe the role that learning plays in perception;

10. explain what illusions teach us about perception;

11. explain how both binocular vision and monocular cues play a role in depth perception;

12. discuss some of issues associated with the topic of extrasensory perception.

Unit 3. Perception:Why Do Tilings Look the Way They Do?

Kurt Koffka (1886—1941), one of the founders of Gestalt psychology. said that the great question of perception is: “Why do things look the way they do?1''

At first the question seems almost silly. We are tempted to answer. "Because things are they way they are."' It would seem that tall things look tall because they an tall. And distant things look distant because they art distant. On the other hand, why does the Moon look larger just above the horizon than it does when it’s overhead? It hasn’t gotten any bigger, or any closer. And. if a series of disconnected dots are arranged in the pattern of. say. the letter F, it looks like the letter, not a bunch of disconnected dots—which, it could be argued., it actually is.

Visual images on your retina are up side down.

Nonetheless, you perceive them as right side up. At the level of sensation, it’s an inverted world. At the level of perception, the world doesn’t look inverted at all.

Koffka’s question does not have to be limited to the sense of vision. The same question could be adapted to the other senses. The principles set forth here, largely in connection with vision, can be readily applied to perception in general.

Sensation is the raw data of experience. Perception, on the other hand, is the organization and the meaning we give to primitive information. It can be said with some degree of confidence that we use sensory information to create a psychological world.

Returning to Koffka. he said that there is a distinction between the geographical world and the psychological world. The geographical world is the actual world “out there,” the world as defined and described by physics. The psychological world is the world “in here,” the world as experienced by the subject. Although common sense usually says it’s the so-called “real world” or physical world that determines our behavior, it can be argued that common sense isn’t sufficiently analytical. Reflection suggests that we behave in terms of what we perceive to be true, not necessarily in terms of what is actually true.

If ice is thin in the physical world., and it is solid in your psychological world., you are likely to skate on it. And. of course, you may make a serious mistake as a result.

In sum. it can be argued that we act to a large extent in terms of our perceptions.

And it is for this reason that the study of perception is a basic one in psychology.

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