The Work of James Jerome Gibson

1073 Words Jul 9th, 2018 5 Pages
I. Brief biography1
James Jerome Gibson was born on January 27, 1904, in McConnelsville, Ohio, U.S. and died on December 11, 1979. He was an experimental psychologist whose work focused primarily on visual perception. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Princeton University in 1928 and joined the faculty of Smith College. During World War II he served in the Army Air Forces (1942–46). In the Army, Gibson developed tests used to screen potential pilots. In doing so, he made the observation that pilots orient themselves according to the characteristics of the ground surface rather than through kinesthetic senses (Hochberg, 1994).
After the war he returned to Smith College before moving to Cornell University in 1949. He retired in 1972
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From such a radical conception of visual perception, Gibson (1979) expanded and evolved his theory of visual perception into the theory of information pickup by saying, “when vision is thought of as a perceptual system instead of as a channel for inputs for the brain, a new theory of perception considered as information pickup becomes possible” (p. 262). According to this information pickup theory, information does not have to be stored in memory because it is always available. What he argued, as opposed to the information processing view of cognition, is that information is not something that has to be processed, rather one that is provided and structured invariant within the environment to be used in activities. As such, his direct perception implies a new theory of cognition that is offered as a substitute for the theory of past experience, memory, and mental images.
Such his claim and notion of perception and cognition have a profound impact on the field of psychology in a new way to describe human thinking. Specifically, his theory, albeit that he did not mention explicitly throughout his works, has underpinned the tenet of ecological psychology,
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