If you want to have your mind blown by questioning whether there is a connection between perception and reality, you can watch this video (However, if you don't want to consider such a dark view, that's fine).
Following the links below can show you how
A. Examples of perceptual hypotheses affecting perception.
- Four different views of the video of a fight. What do you see?
- The FBI believes that this video shows that the shooting of Robert Finicum was justified. Not everyone sees it that way.
B. Implications of perceptual hypotheses for observation
1. All scientific observations are open to question because we may see what we expect to see rather than what's there. That is, we may be susceptible to
perceptual setA tendency to see what we expect to see.
- To see how powerful perceptual set can be, watch this short video. Warning: Do not try what the man on the video does. It is illegal!
- This 14-second video is a magical example of perceptual set
2. Asking people what they see may be more useful for finding out how they think (what perceptual hypotheses they have) than for finding out about the world.
3. The disturbing lack of correspondence between confidence and accuracy of observations. See an example of the lack of correspondence between accuracy and confidence.
4. The value of perception checking and active listening
IV. The effect of experience on perception.
A. Top down processing
B. Helson's adaptation level
Principle #1--We try to organize our perceptions:
The Gestalt Laws of Grouping (link to a video that summarizes the main laws)
Closureour tendency to "close" or "fill-in" gaps to see a whole form.
Proximityour tendency to group together things that are close together.
Similaritypeople will tend to group similar items together
Continuityour tendency to see lines as continuing, without breaks.
Principle #2--We tend to see the world as not changing.
1. Brightness/color constancy
2. Size constancy
3. Shape constancy
Principle #3--We see world in terms of figure and ground
Principle #4--Attention is selective - only 1 thing is figure at a time. Examples:
1. Reversible figures (These are also known as ambiguous figures. They are cool!)
2. Dichotic listening experiments
Principle #5--Stimuli with certain characteristics are more likely to be figure.
Taking advantage of this principle to get and keep attention
a. Why repetition is valued--the 17% phenomenon.
b. Why simply repeating isn't good enough: habituation.
4. Appeal to needs, interests of others
Principle #6--Figure affects perception of ground.
Principle #7-- Your current perceptions depend on (are interpreted relative to) your past perceptions: Helson's adaptation level.
At least 7 examples of this principle in action, including this video showing
the effect on Helson's adaptation level on happiness (you will probably be happier after watching this).