The Theory Of Perception And Knowing

1760 WordsFeb 3, 20178 Pages
To James and Lippmann, the stimuli world is a buzzing confusion that bombards the perceiver. From Shakespeare and Socrates to Kant and Kohler, the power of perception has been discussed by philosophers and psychologists alike. Construction of perception and knowing is subjective, depending on factors such as motives, wants, needs, values, cultures, norms, and mood. Meaning is constructed to end doubt, prepare for action, and obtain sub-jective feelings of control. In the social world, inferences and categorization happen at an unconscious level. However, we have the cognitive flexibility to engage in effor Separating meaning from pure sensation was the goal for Kohler and Bruner. For Kohler, even the most elementary forms of knowing…show more content…
When a person is forced to choose between stimuli, a per-son will respond to stimuli based on which stimuli speak to his or her goals most clearly. Similar to Kohler and Bruner, Lewin believed motives and goals could operate at an uncon-scious level, yet play an essential part in perception and action. Goals and motives that were chosen consciously and operate unconsciously are known as “quasi-needs.” Ability of a stimulus to capture one’s attention depends on the strength of the quasi-need. Stimuli related to our goals stand out to us while stimuli unrelated to our goals may go unnoticed. This con-firmation bias can be exemplified by the willingness of people to believe fake news when it fits their unconscious goals. These goals operate passively, waiting to be triggered by an en-vioronmental cue. Building on Lewin’s work, Postman, Bruner, and McGinnies found that the perceptual meaning of value-laden words were dependent upon the perceiver’s likes and dislikes. Culture and norms took the center stage in Sherif’s assertion that there were two ways of framing the construction of knowledge. First, a stimulus may not invoke the same effect in person at different times; instead, the perceptual experience and subsequent behav-ior may be a function of the state of the organism at the time. By the same token, researchers have found that negative mood states reduce one’s perceptual focus, making it more diffi-cult to
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