Perceptions – Aren’t that obvious

The great question of perception is: “Why do things look the way they do?”

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 are tall. And distant things look distant because they are 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. 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 actually is. visual images on your retina are upside down.

There are two phenomena – Sensation : the raw data of experience and Perception : 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. Kurt Koffka (1886–1941), one of the founders of Gestalt psychology, 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. We generally 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.


3 thoughts on “Perceptions – Aren’t that obvious

  1. “We generally behave in terms of what we perceive to be true, not necessarily in terms of what is actually true.”

    This perception that there is an actual truth distinct from the perceived truth, is itself a perceived truth.

    If you think a little more deeply, you’d begin to realize that nothing can be known about the actual truth – because whatever is known – is known because it becomes the part of perceived truth. And then you begin to question whether a thing called actual truth even exist.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s