Perception the Classical and Active Term Paper

Pages: 7 (2558 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Psychology

The problem that has plagued researchers is whether perception influences motivation, or whether is the other way around. Recent research demonstrates that a person's motivational state, including their wishes in preferences, can influence their processing of visual stimuli. One in the most profound experiments to demonstrate this concept provided participants with an ambiguous figure that could be perceived as either the letter shift B. The number 15. If they perceived the figure one way, they would receive a positive outcome; the other way would not produce a positive outcome. The participant would only receive the positive outcome if they saw the version that was associated with a positive outcome. This study found that motivational influence on perception extends down to preconscious processing of stimuli in the visual environment and that this guides What the visual system presents into the person's conscious awareness

(Balcetis and Dunning, pp. 612).

This study suggests is seeing is not believing, but rather sometimes, believing is seeing. This concept extends to the idea of classical theories a perception. If visual stimuli were always the activator for perception through categorical processing, then the interpretation of ambiguous figures could not be changed through motivation. This theory makes the question, "What do you see?" be transformed into the question, "What do you want to see?"Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Perception the Classical and Active Assignment

These principles are used every day in the world of marketing. Motivation and perception influence consumer behavior. However, understanding motivation is a complex matter. Different people are motivated by different things, and these things can change continually. Motivation can be being the first to test the latest technology, being identified as part of a group, or obtaining an item that fulfills a basic personal need (Stein). The principles of marketing are based on identifying a group of people who have a common motivation for their products. For instance, some will prefer an item that is inexpensive, while others may prefer a very similar item that is higher priced said that they can feel as if they are a part of a more successful group. When two items are very similar, marketing can be used to manipulate the perception of the items in the consumer's mind so that the item is attractive to like motivated people. Money is not always the primary motivation; one example of this is the marketing of "green" products (Stein).


At this point, we have moved away from the classical view of perception. The classical view of perception appears to be too simplistic to explain the complex problems of perception that have been found in recent studies. If the classical view a perception held true for all cases, then we would simply be a product of our environment, but as we have found this is not the case. The way we perceive our environment can be influenced by our wishes and desires. In addition, if the classical view of perception is always true, then it fails to explain how we can have hallucinations and illusions that exist only in the conscious mind and are not a part of the physical reality that is perceived by the sensory organs (Crane).

At this point, it is necessary to reconcile whether the classical view of perception should be considered outdated, or whether it still holds valid. The answer to this has become one of sheer simplicity. It is certainly true that sometimes we perceive our world tour visual senses and that we categorize what we see according to the classical view of our past experiences. For instance, right now, I'm looking at my computer screen. I am perceiving it to be the same computer screen that I saw yesterday. This is based on my previous categorization of the computer screen. However, as we have seen, we do not always have to have a reference from our past in order to receive something from our environment. We also found that we play an active role in how we perceive stimulus from a physical environment. We found that are wishes and desires can motivate us to perceive something in a certain way. Perception is malleable in can be influenced by something other than the physical environment. We have also found that it times we can perceive something that only exists inside of our mind, a perception that did not come from the outside environment.

In conclusion, when one considers the advantages and disadvantages of the classical view of perception and the active view of perception, one can find instances where both are applicable. Babies learn to interact with their environment in rapidly developing the framework that they will use to interpret their environment in the future. This is consistent with the classical view of perception. However, the fact that motivation actively influences our own perception of stimuli from our environment also supports the active theory of perception. This brings us to the conclusion that although the classical review a perception holds true in some cases; it fails to explain certain phenomenon in our world. Neither the active more classic view of perception can explain all of the ways in which we process stimuli. Therefore can be that concluded that for the most part, the active you a perception can be applied, but that this does not discredit the classic view of perception entirely. It appears that our sense of perception stems from two different processes that are interconnected and that together form our views of the world and influence our behaviors.

Works Cited

Balcetis, Emily and Dunning, David. "See What You Want to See: Motivational Influences on Visual Perception." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Vol. 91. No. 4. Pp. 612-625.

Berliner, Todd and Cullen, Dale. "The Illusion of Continuity: Active Perception in the Classical Editing System." Journal of Film and Video. 2011. Vol. 63 No. 1. PP. 44 -- 63.

Conde, Toni and Thalmann, Daniel. F. "An integrated perception for autonomous virtual agents:

active and predictive perception." Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds. Vol. 17. pp. 457-468.

Crane, Tim, "The Problem of Perception," The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring

2011 Edition), Web. < bin/encyclopedia/archinfo.cgi?entry=perception-problem > [Accessed 18 May 2011].

Hurley, Susan. Perception and Action Alternative Views. Synthese. 2001. Vol. 129. pp. 3-40.

Web. <>. Accessed 19 May 2011.

Stein, Sammy. "How does motivation and perception influence consumer behavior?" Helium

Marketing. 31 September 2009. Web. < >. [Accessed 18… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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