One of the ways in which we organize our percep tual world is by sorting stimuli into figure and background.
The focus of our attention is the figure, while the rest of our perception is the ground.
The figure is smaller, more colorful, or brighter than the background.
Automatic processes can trick us.
Determine what is figure and what is ground in each example by looking at Figure 3-18.
The figure-ground relation is unclear or ambiguous in each instance, and the task is more difficult than in Figure 3-17.
The source of that may depend on top-down influences created by reading the caption.
You push the brake harder when your foot is on it.
The back ward motion continues.
You don't realize that the truck is moving until you see it.
You thought of your car as the figure and the truck as the ground.
You perceived yourself as the moving object, rather than the truck, because figures normally move across a background.
The psychologists showed that we organize our perception by grouping elements.
The way in which we group perceptual elements is very important.
If you had to deal with every percep tual element on your own, how much trouble would you have?
We call words when the letters you are reading fall into groups.
When we organize perceptual elements into groups, they are seen as a group.
There are several conditions that promote grouping of perceptual elements.
Although we don't agree with the principle of cussing these conditions separately, keep in mind that more than one of them can operate perceptual elements that are similar at a time.
Take a look at how many conditions you notice in your day-to-day life.
Think about words or music.
It should be easier to see a continuous flowing figure than it is to see two separate lines.
The missing pieces had to be created perceptually to complete the picture.
This process shows the relationship between the two things.
The seven lines are three pairs and an extra line at the right because of the relative proximity of the pairs of lines.
We tend to see a complete bicycle rather than two separate parts if we overlook incompleteness in sensory information.
If you notice a message on an elec independently tronic sign while you're on your way to your next class, the Gestalt principle says it's easier to perception movement into whole objects.
This sign adds to our consideration of perception.
The words appear to move across the sign.
The lights are turned on and off in a sequence in the electronic sign.
Think about movies, television, and DVD's.
The brain's ability to create perception of motion from a series of still pictures is what all of these forms of entertainment rely on.
Your brain creates the illusion of movement even when there is no movement.
Your vision would stop if your receptors changed.
You will need a small flashlight, some string, and a dark room to demonstrate the autokinetic effect.
The flashlight can be hung from a light fixture or ceiling fan.
All the lights in the room should be turned off.
The light should move within a minute or less.
The effect is due to small eye movements that the brain doesn't track.
Although pictures are worth a thousand words, they don't always give us an ac curate picture.
Humans are primarily visual creatures and yet we are subject to quite a number of visual illusions.
perception involves the brain's attempt to make sense of the stimuli we receive from our environment We can develop educated guesses about the nature of those stimuli with the help ofancy, figure-ground rela tions, and grouping processes.
The events in your perceptual world can be constant and stable.
Change and diversity are what your perceptual hypothesis will be on other occasions.
The ability to discriminate between hypoth eses is important for adaptation to the environment.
Don't assume that it's always easy to discriminate the same and different when you say "Yes, that's only good common sense that everyone already knows."
When we anticipate that change is likely or logical, we can discriminate, but we don't notice improbable or unlikely changes very well.
Sometimes our perceptual hypotheses are wrong.
Most of us fail to appreciate what we have and long for what we don't.
Give this question a thought.
Before reading further, you should write down your answer and reasons for it.
There is an explanation for the answer to the green-grass question.
You can see both green grass and dark brown soil when you look down at the grass in your yard.
The colors blend together.
You don't see the brown soil when you look at the grass across the fence because you are not looking straight down.
The grass on the other side of the fence is a shade of green.
Your senses are tricked into believing that the grass on the other side of the fence is better.
It's easy to trick our senses into thinking that stimuli don't correspond to esis.
Many illusions are caused by perceptual hypotheses.
On the other side of the fence, the grass looks green.
Incorrect perceptual hypotheses are at the heart of perceptual illusions.
In this illusion, big circles make a central circle appear small, whereas small circles make a central circle look larger.
The Ames room is one of the most fascinating perceptual illusions.
People don't have basic perceptual abilities.
You thought the floors were level.
The 1990s were the decade of the brain.
Recent advances in the study of brain functioning promise to change our perception of sensory processes.
According to studies of the human visual cortex, sensory processing does not occur in a strictly sequential manner where one part of the brain performs an activity and then passes the modified sensation on to another brain area for additional processing.
The study of perceptual processes has direct real-world applications.
The distractors seem to lose interest in the high-salience stimuli.
The pop-out effect can be created by features such as color, motion, brightness, and prior experience with the target.
A more lengthy and difficult visual search can result from the combination of these features.
There are several notable applications of visual search research to real-life situations in which target stimuli must be detected from distractors.
The spe cific nature of the problem faced by dyslexic people was revealed by Ballew, Brooks, and Annacelli, who studied the effect of contrast on reading ability.
Maintaining high letter-background contrast can be used to aid the dyslexic individual.
Lauren Scharff and her colleagues have shown that the type of back ground texture can affect text readability for normal individuals.
The area of applied perception research is paying rich dividends.
If you own a flat-screen computer monitor, television, color printer, or digital camera, contemporary perception research has impacted your life.
The development of high-tech displays for these applications and "for harsh visual environments such as the airplane cockpit" is a prime area of perception research.
The perception researcher has to make sure the colors on the devices are accurate.
The development of seat belt alarms has been influenced by perception research.
When the seat belt wasn't fastened, the alarms made a loud noise.
The drivers were able to cover up the noise with other loud noises.
Researchers found that a softer but higher-pitched dinging sound was more effective.
The use of cell phones while driving is a recent phenomenon that has the potential to be impacted by basic perception research.
A reduction of drivers' attention is caused by engaging in cognitive tasks.
The reduced attention to billboards and signs resulted in impaired reactions to other vehicles that braked.
Basic perception research has provided important information and promises to yield additional real-life applications in the future.
It can tell us about social processes.
He used the power of his mind to cause a large rocking chair to move back and forth.
It is possible to communicate between minds without using the normal senses and 26% believe it is possible to know the past and predict the future through the power of the mind, according to a survey.
College students have a common belief in such phenomena.
The existence of ESP was well documented in one study.
clairvoyance, telepathy, and precognition are some examples of ESP.
You might be showing clairvoyance if you could tell us what was in the closed box that you had never seen.
Some researchers don't consider psychokinesis an example of ESP because it doesn't involve perception.
People claimed that they could receive messages from the dead.
Many of Rhine's experiments used a deck of Zener cards with five different designs: circle, cross, rectangle, and star.
In a typical study, the participant's task was to guess the design on each card as an experimenter selected it from the deck.
Rhine compared each person's success with the success rate expected on the basis of chance, which is 20%.
A number of participants did better than expected.
Some of the best performers may have been able to cheat.
The success rates may have been due to the fact that participants could use the cards as clues.
It was possible to read the symbol through the back of a worn card with the right light.
The claims offered by ESP supporters are presented in ways that make it difficult to design a definitive test.
According to James Alcock (1989), parapsychology has failed to show scientific evidence of its validity.
Parapsychology has been termed a controversial science.
A series of nine experiments involving more than 1,000 participants was reported on by a Cornell University researcher in 2011.
In one experiment, participants sat in front of a computer screen with curtains.
The computer would project a neutral, negative, or erotic image.
When the images were neutral, participants guessed less than half of the Zener cards used in parapsychological research.
When the images were erotic, they correctly guessed which screen the computer would select.
According to Bem, there was an active influ ence in the erotic images.
Critics are skeptical that the effect is small.
Most scientists agree that unexplained phenomena can be explained with non normal evidence.
We need to write well-established scientific principles to account for supernatural explanations.
The law of parsimony suggests that we look for explanations that require less assumptions if they can explain the phenomenon in question.
One researcher observes that there are many guises for the evidence for supernatural claims.
The majority of the evidence comes from personal experience, anecdotes, and folklore.
Although psychologists and other scientists realize that the evidence is unreliable, almost every believer has become convinced because of it.
Many people have psychic experiences that they interpret as such.
According to psychologists, the way we perceive and remember information is what leads to psychic experiences.
Explanations that rely on will to believe do not improve our understanding.
We can be fooled by our experiences in the same way that we can be fooled by visual illusions.
When we consider coincidences, such as dreams that come true, as evidence of a connection, one illusion that encourages belief in ESP occurs.
He called me today after we hadn't heard from each other in 15 years.
The media can affect belief in the supernatural.
Whether they are ghosts, reincarnation, or spoon bending, supernatural phenomena sell.
Newspaper stories of alleged phe nomena are often reported as facts, with extensive coverage of the proponents' views and less attention to the skeptics' views.
Many people have experience with some of the supernatural phenomena.
Scientists and believers don't agree on what proof is for such phenomena.
The believers point to laboratory research.
psy chologists offer explanations for many of the personal experiences that skeptics point to as flaws in the laboratory research.
The burden of proof for such extraordinary claims rests with the people making them, because psychologists can point to reasons that such phenomena may not occur.
Although the methods of studying the supernatural have improved, a conclusive demonstration of their existence has not occurred.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the magi cian Harry Houdini challenged mediums to produce phenomena he could not duplicate.
The magician James Randi is offering a $1 million reward to anyone who can demonstrate supernatural power under certain conditions.
No one has been killed.
Some phenomena that were thought to be impossible or even fraudulent in the past have since been verified to be real.
Most people believed that the idea of rocks falling from the sky was ridiculous.
jeers were met with when anyone suggested the possibility of a flying object.
Despite these reactions, meteorites do fall from the sky.
There is a certain amount of humility in what we believe and we can be open minded without neglecting the need for empirical evidence.
Much of our perceptual activity is characterized by parallel processing.
The social context may affect perception.
On the presence of a background and our ability to judge our normal sensory abilities, such occurrences are considered to be supernatural.
According to what law, we should search for explanations and try to sneak some food before the strange things happen.
When looking for attention, it's important to look at some stimuli and not others.
The object you saw on p. 112 may be larger than you thought.
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