A Brief Exploration of Perception

There are two schools of thought amongst psychologists when it comes to visual perception:

Stay with me here I am keeping it simple…

  1. Some psychologists believe that visual perception processes rely directly on what a person sees with their eyes.
  2. Others argue that these processes are not direct but rather rely on what a person’s expectations are and what their previous knowledge is, in addition to what they see.

The first theory is known as the direct theory of perception and is a bottom-up process i.e. your eyes see an object and the brain interprets this information (http://www.simplypsychology.org/perception-theories.html).

The second is the indirect theory of perception and is a top-down process i.e. it starts with what you already know about an object (http://www.richardgregory.org/papers/knowl_illusion/knowledge-in-perception.htm)

This indirect theory of perception uses what we see below as evidence supporting this theory:

It is probable however that both theories have similar amounts of supportive evidence but my message here is…

…if we cannot rely on our brain to correctly interpret what we see with our own eyes then how good are we at interpreting the meaning of what others do, say and feel?

And whatever it is we think of what someone says, does or feels it is important to remember that it is just one interpretation and that there is plenty of room for more.

So within that room is it better to expand our thinking into the realms of negativity or positivity?

The perception of what we see is our choice.  We can shine a little light on our world and that of others or we can cast a shadow over it.

Which would you choose?


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