Perception (2023)

Perception is a process that involves organizing, identifying, and interpreting sensory inputs for the purpose of representation and understanding of the environment. When a sensory organ is stimulated, the receptors send signals to the nervous system for perception to take place.

Components of Perception

There are three components of perception according to Alan Saks and Gary Johns (2011):
1. The Perceiver. This refers to a person whose awareness is focused on the stimulus, and thus begins to perceive it. There are many factors that may influence the perceptions of the perceiver. The three major factors include motivational state, emotional state, and experience. All of these factors, especially motivation and emotion, greatly contribute to how the person perceives a situation. Oftentimes, he or she may employ the so- called "perceptual defense", which means that the person only perceives what he wants to perceive, even though the stimulus acts on his or her senses.

2. The Target. This includes the object of perception. It is something or someone who is being perceived. The amount of information gathered by the sensory organs of the perceiver affects the interpretation and understanding about the target.

3. The Situation. The environmental factors, timing, and degree of stimulation also affect the process of perception. These factors may render a single stimulus to be left as merely a stimulus, not a percept that is subject for brain interpretation. However, ambiguous stimulus may sometimes be transduced into one or more percepts. When this occurs, a process called "multistable perception" occurs.

Weber-Fechner Law

The oldest quantitative law of perception and in the entire branch of psychology is the Weber-Fechner Law. The law was proposed by Ernst Heinrich Weber (1795–1878), one of the first researchers that were able to describe physical stimulus in quantitative terms, and Gustav Theodor Fechner (1801–1887), a German experimental psychologist. The law is actually a combination of the Weber law and the Fechner law. The Weber states that the just-noticeable difference (i.e., the smallest measurable discrepancy between a primary and secondary level of a stimulus) is proportional to the magnitude of the stimulus. In mathematical terms, the equation for the Weber law is:
k = ΔI/I
Where: k = a constant
I = the background intensity
ΔI = the difference between the intensity of the JND stimulus and background intensity.
Meanwhile, the Fechner theory holds that subjective sensation is proportional to the logarithm of the intensity of the stimulus. It is expressed as:
S = k log I
Where:S = the allocation of the stimulus to the psychological or discriminal continuum I = the stimulus magnitude

Thus, this combined law presents the relationship between the intensity or degree of physical stimulus and its perceptual effects in quantifiable terms. For instance, the law can be used to calculate how much the volume of a radio should be decreased before the perceiver notices.


What is the simple definition of perception? ›

noun. the act or faculty of perceiving, or apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding. immediate or intuitive recognition or appreciation, as of moral, psychological, or aesthetic qualities; insight; intuition; discernment: an artist of rare perception.

Which is an example of perception? ›

For example, upon walking into a kitchen and smelling the scent of baking cinnamon rolls, the sensation is the scent receptors detecting the odor of cinnamon, but the perception may be “Mmm, this smells like the bread Grandma used to bake when the family gathered for holidays.”

What's another word for perception? ›

Some common synonyms of perception are acumen, discernment, discrimination, insight, and penetration. While all these words mean "a power to see what is not evident to the average mind," perception implies quick and often sympathetic discernment (as of shades of feeling).

Does perception mean reality? ›

If you dive into the definitions of the two words “perception” and “reality,” you will see that reality excludes perception. Perception: A way of understanding or interpreting things. Reality: The state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may be perceived or might be imagined.

What is a real life example of perception? ›

One person may perceive a dog jumping on them as a threat, while another person may perceive this action as the pup just being excited to see them. Our perceptions of people and things are shaped by our prior experiences, our interests, and how carefully we process information.

What is perception in human behavior? ›

By perception, we mean the process by which one screens, selects, organizes, and interprets stimuli to give them meaning. It is a process of making sense out of the environment in order to make an appropriate behavioral response.

Why perception is important? ›

Perception is important because it helps you to understand the world around you. Sensation refers to the process of receiving information through the senses, perception refers to the way your brain interprets these sensations.

What are 3 main influences of perception? ›

There are many factors that may influence the perceptions of the perceiver. The three major factors include motivational state, emotional state, and experience.

What are the types of person perception? ›

An example of person perception would be how one views their parents and how they believe parents should behave based on their parents' behavior. Another example would be someone's idea that a friend should possess certain qualities because those are the qualities they exhibit towards their friends.

What is a positive perception? ›

Positive perception refers to traits and perceptions that predict well-being (Icekson, & Pines, 2013) . It includes three aspects, a positive view (a) of self, (b) of time, and (c) of human nature. ... Measuring well-being in emerging adults: Exploring the PERMA framework for positive youth development. Article.

What's the opposite of perception? ›

What is the opposite of perception?
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What is the base word of perception? ›

The word 'perception' comes from the Latin word percepio, meaning “receiving, collecting, action of taking possession, apprehension with the mind or senses”.

How do you use perception in a sentence? ›

(1) My perception of the problem is quite different. (2) We have to change the public's perception that money is being wasted. (3) I was shocked to learn of the perception people have of me. (4) Her remarks were curiously lacking in perception.

How can I change my perception? ›

How to change perceptions
  1. Ask for more feedback. Avoid the temptation to dismiss what the person is saying, even if it does not align with your perspective. ...
  2. Reveal your intentions. ...
  3. Try feed-forward techniques.

Is perception a feeling? ›

Perceptions are meaning-making; they help us interpret experience. But feelings are experience. Recognising the difference between when we're actually feeling something instead of perceiving something gives us the power to soothe our discontent.

What is perception vs truth? ›

The book Perception vs. Truth is a means to examine our beliefs about reality and the stories that we tell ourselves, which create our perception of reality and hence create our experiences in life.

What is an example of a bad perception? ›

For example, you may think you're confident, but others may see you as arrogant. You may think you are shy but others see you as aloof. These dissonances, as they're often called by psychologists, are painful.

How do you deal with negative perceptions? ›

Anjali Venugopalan gets you tips from the experts.
  1. Get to the bottom of it. Is it something you did? ...
  2. Don't get defensive. Whether it's your fault or not, there's no point getting defensive. ...
  3. Confide in someone. ...
  4. Don't overdo it. ...
  5. Continue your work.
Oct 1, 2019

What does perception on life mean? ›

Perception is the way that you view our lives and that you make meaning. The way we perceive the experiences in our lives defines how we feel about them and creates our reality.

How does perception affect relationships? ›

Perception shapes how we understand how others communicate and how we communicate. Conversely, communication also influences our perceptions of people and situations.

What is the psychology meaning of perception? ›

the process or result of becoming aware of objects, relationships, and events by means of the senses, which includes such activities as recognizing, observing, and discriminating.

Can perception affect our attitude? ›

Accumulation of information regarding a particular object over a long period of time helps us forming a positive or negative tendency towards an object. Thus the process is as below: Perception leads to Learning about an object and repeated learning about an object leads to development of an attitude.

Why is perception so powerful? ›

Perception is powerful because it literally dictates what reality you see and live in. Each of us live in a different reality, quite literally because of the different forms of perception that we engage the world with.

What creates perception? ›

But perception is much more than a passive relay of information from your eyes and ears to your brain. Instead, your brain interprets the information sent from your sensory organs, and actively creates your perception of the world.

What is the main idea of perception? ›

Perception is a process where people take in sensory information from the environment and make sense of the surrounding with the information in order to give an appropriate response. Perception allows people to take the sensory information and make it into something meaningful.

Which of the following is the best definition of perception? ›

Perception is the recognition of things using your senses, especially the sense of sight.

What does perception mean in human? ›

perception, in humans, the process whereby sensory stimulation is translated into organized experience. That experience, or percept, is the joint product of the stimulation and of the process itself.

What is perception explained to kids? ›

Perception refers to how children use their senses to gather and understand information and respond to the world around them. Infants and toddlers use perception during interactions, for exploration, and to make sense of their experiences.

What is the definition of perception in psychology? ›

the process or result of becoming aware of objects, relationships, and events by means of the senses, which includes such activities as recognizing, observing, and discriminating.

What is perception and why is it important? ›

Perception is the interpretation your brain makes based on what you see, hear, smell, feel, taste and the information that is already stored within your memory. Perception is important because it helps you to understand the world around you.

What are the three main factors affecting perception? ›

There are many factors that may influence the perceptions of the perceiver. The three major factors include motivational state, emotional state, and experience. All of these factors, especially motivation and emotion, greatly contribute to how the person perceives a situation.

What causes perception? ›

Sensation is input about the physical world obtained by our sensory receptors, and perception is the process by which the brain selects, organizes, and interprets these sensations. In other words, senses are the physiological basis of perception.

What is an interesting fact about perception? ›

Imagine hearing your mom calling your name from afar, the hearing receptors would only detect the sound but the perception allows you to recognize your mom's voice straight away. This is the example of how perception can take place, even without conscious awareness.

What is understanding perception? ›

Perception is the process of selecting, organizing, and interpreting information. This process affects our communication because we respond to stimuli differently, whether they are objects or persons, based on how we perceive them.

What is perception summary? ›

Article Summary

Sense perception is the use of our senses to acquire information about the world around us and to become acquainted with objects, events, and their features. Traditionally, there are taken to be five senses: sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste. Philosophical debate about perception is ancient.

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