William James's Theory Of Perception

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This essay will discuss the statement by William James, “-whilst part of what we perceive comes through our senses but another part (and it may be the larger part) always comes out of our head.” (James, 1890). This excerpt relates to the topic of perception, which can be defined as the acquisition and processing of sensory information to see, hear, taste, or feel objects, whilst guiding an organism’s actions with respect to those objects (Sekuler & Blake, 2002). Every theory of perception begins with the question of what features of the surrounding environment can be apprehended through direct pickup (Runeson et al. 2000). Is it only vague elemental cues that are available, and development and expansion through cognitive processes is required …show more content…

The constructivist approach, which James favours in this statement, relies on higher cognitive information either from past experiences or stored knowledge in order to makes inferences about what we perceive (McLeod, 2008). In contrast, the direct perception approach limits itself only to information in the environment (Norman, 2002). These two competing theories will be discussed in relation to the above quote by William James, accomponied by evidence of their support or opposistion of said …show more content…

Our visual bias which is used to viewing faces as convex is so strong it hinders us from seeing what is really in front of us, the direct perceptional reality of the hollow mask, thus the perception of the concave mask of the face appear to be a normal convex face. Further research has been carried out on this concept that Gregory put forward, of familiarity affecting perception. Familiar brand logos are found faster than unfamiliar (Qin et al. 2014) and meaningful letter strings appear visually clearer and sharper than unfamiliar/meaningless ones, and it easier to detect subtle changes in blurryness in familiar words than in unfamiliar ones (Lupyan, 2017). These reports imply that familiar concepts such as brand logos or even as general as random words are percieved with greater accuracy, suggesting past experience mediates perception.
Indirect perception implies that it is not actually of the environment itself but a cognitive representation of the environment that we percieve, assembeled by and existing in the brain. It is by the process of construction in which our seneses consult memories of prior experience before delivering a visual interpretation of the visual world. It argues that there is no direct way to examine objects that is independent of our conception; that perception is

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