Operational Hypothesis for Bugelski and Alampay ()?. What is the IV and DV for the rat-man experiment where they had 3 conditions. The role of frequency in developing perceptual sets. Citation. Bugelski, B. R., & Alampay, D. A. (). The role of frequency in developing perceptual sets. Also, Bugelski and Alampay. () showed that presenting a picture that is related to the biased version of the figure is sufficient to influence the interpretation.

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Contexts and Expectations Someone once said that there is no meaning without context. Various kinds of context are important in shaping buelski interpretation of what we see. As a reminder alampau the importance of making clear what is meant by the importance of ‘context’ in perception I briefly list here several very different uses of the term. However, I would bugelskki suggest that in practice tidy distinctions can always be usefully made.

The largest frame is that of the historical context of perception. Some theorists, such as Marshall McLuhanWalter Ong and Donald Lowehave argued that there have been shifts over time in the human ‘sensorium’ – that is, in the ‘balance’ of our senses or the priority which we give to some compared with others.

Such argue that in western urban cultures we have come to rely more on sight than on any other sense this was referred to in Visual Perception 1 a,ampay ‘ocularcentrism’.

Another major framework is that of the socio-cultural context of perception. Just as there may be subtle differences in human perception over time there may also be differences attributable to culture.

Some of these were alluded to in Visual Perception 3. Constance Classen in her book Worlds of Sense shows that different cultures accord priority to different senses – the Ongee of the Andaman Islands, for instance, live in a world ordered by smell.

Evidence that Indians have a different manner of looking at the world can be found in the contrast between the ways in which Indian and non-Indian artists depict the same events.

That difference is not necessarily a matter of ‘error’ or simply a variation in imagery.

Bugelski alampay

It represents an entirely individual way of seeing the world. For instance, in a sixteenth-century anonymous engraving of a famous scene from the white man’s history an artist depicted a sailing vessel anchored bueglski with a landing party of elegantly dressed gentlemen disembarking while regal, Europeanized Indians look on – one carrying a ‘peace pipe’ expressly for this festive occasion.

The drawing by an Indian, on the other hand, records a totally different scene: Indians gasping in amazement bugelsii a floating island, covered with tall defoliated trees and odd creatures with hairy faces, approaches. When I showed the two pictures to white people they said in effect: They were unfamiliar with what was happening to them and so they misunderstood their experience. Indians, looking at the same pictures, pause with perplexity, and then say, ‘Well, after all, a ship is a floating island, and what really are the masts of a ship but the trunks of tall trees?

The Indians saw a floating island while white people saw a ship. Isn’t it also possible – if we bueglski the bounds of twentieth-century imagination – that another, more alien people with an entirely different way of seeing and thinking might bugelskki neither an island or a ship? They might for example see the complex networks of molecules that physics tells us produce the outward shapes, colours and textures that we simply see as objects.

Albert Einstein showed us that alampya, as well as scientific observation of them, are not experienced directly, and that common- sense thinking is a kind of shorthand that attempts to convert the fluid, sensuous animation and immediacy of the world into illusory constructs such as stones, trees, ships and stars.

We see the world in terms of our cultural heritage and the capacity of our perceptual organs to deliver culturally predetermined messages to us. HighwaterBuglski the historical and socio-cultural context of perception are vast themes which will not be explored further here, but such studies do help to emphasize that ‘the world’ is not simply indisputably ‘out there’ but is to some extent constructed in the process of perception. Bhgelski a given socio-cultural bugelxki, there are widely-shared interpretive conventions and practices.


Whilst the basic processes of human perception are largely universal there is scope for subtle but significant variations over space and time. Several other kinds of context are commonly referred to. I alam;ay referred already, in Visual Perception 3to the importance of individual factors which alampayy have an influence on perception. An emphasis on the individual as a context emphasizes the role of the various long-term characteristics of individual perceivers such as values, attitudes, habits and so on.

An emphasis on the situational context considers such transitory situational factors as goals, intentions, situational constraints and contextual expectancies. Finally, an emphasis on the structural context stresses structural features and relationships such as the relationship between one line and another ‘in’ what is perceived – though the extent to which there is agreement about even such low-level formal features may vary.

Five main definitions of the scope of the term ‘context’ have been listed here in relation to their potential influence on perception: A very well-known study by Bugelski and Alampay can be bugslski as showing the importance of situational context. Their experiment is often used as an example of the influence of what psychologists call ‘perceptual set’: Perceptual set is broader than situational context, since it may involve either long-term for instance, cultural prior experience or, as in this case, short-term or situational factors Murch Groups of observers in the experiment were shown an ambiguous line bugelskl which was designed to be open to interpretation either as a rat or as bugekski bald man wearing spectacles.

Prior to seeing this image, two groups were shown from one to four drawings in a similar style. One group was shown drawings of various animals and the second group alam;ay shown drawings of human faces see illustration below. A control group was shown no pictures beforehand. The influence of perceptual set has also been explored in relation to the famous image shown below: This image was designed to be interpreted as either a young woman or an old woman.

It was introduced into the psychological literature by Edwin G Boring though it was published by the British cartoonist W E Hill inand is thought to be based on a French version of 15 years earlier. It is sometimes given the chauvinistic label of ‘The Wife and the Mother-in-Law’. In order to study the role of perceptual set Robert Leeper had the image redrawn in two ‘biased’ butelski Leeper varied the conditions of viewing for five groups.

The second and third groups were first given a verbal description of the old woman and the young woman respectively. The fourth and fifth groups were first shown the ‘old’ version and the alampag version respectively. Groups 2 to alampxy were then shown the original ambiguous image. Leeper found that each of the primed groups was ‘locked-in’ to their previous interpretation.

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The percentages opting for each interpretation amongst those given verbal descriptions were much the same as for the control group. Particular situational contexts set up expectations in the observer. Bruner and Postman conducted an experiment in which playing-cards were used, some of which had the colour changed from red to black or vice versa. The cards were exposed in succession for a very short time. Subjects identified them as follows: Interpretation here was dominated by what the situational context suggested that people ought to be seeing.

A shorter time of exposure was necessary for people to name the normal cards than the anomalous ones. In one experiment, Steven Palmer first presented a situational context such as a kitchen scene and then briefly flashed on a target image.


They were asked to identify an image like an open US mailbox and an image resembling a drum – two objects not usually associated with the kitchen. The images were a little ambiguous: I have mentioned that situational contexts generate certain short-term expectations but it is worth noting in passing that expectations may also be set up by longer-term influences – such as by stereotypes, prejudices and past experience.

To return to contexts, here is an example of structural context. This pattern of circles is known as the Ebbinghaus or Titchener illusion. It is an illusion of relative size or more strictly, area. Here the formal relationship between the parts of the image leads the small white circle which is the same size in both images to seem larger in the structural context of the tiny black circles than amongst the large black circles.

There is no shortage of examples of the role of structural context amongst the geometrical illusions which can be found in psychology textbooks so no further examples of the role of structural context will be discussed here. At this point it is useful to introduce schema theory briefly. A schema plural ‘schemata’ or ‘schemas’ is a kind of mental template or framework which we use to make sense of things. Particular circumstances seem to activate appropriate schemata, which set up various standard expectations about such contexts.

Such schemata develop from experience.

They allow us, for instance, to make inferences about things which are not currently directly visible. The application of schemata and the expectations which they set up represents ‘top-down’ processes in perception whilst the activation of schemata by aampay data is a ‘bottom-up’ process.

A good example of the role of top-down processes is where you think that alammpay recognize someone in the street and then realize from sensory data that you are wrong. We are often misled in this way by situational contexts, by wishful thinking and so on, ignoring contradictory sensory data in favour of our expectations. In an experiment alzmpay Brewer and Treyensindividual participants were asked to wait in an office. The experimenter said that this was his office and that they should wait there whilst he checked the laboratory to see if the previous participant had finished.

After 35 seconds, he returned and took the participant to another room where they were asked to recall everything in the room in which they had been waiting. Nearly everyone remembered the desk and the chair next to it. Only bugelzki out of the 30 recalled the skull!

Some recalled items that had not been there at all: This shows how people may introduce new items consistent with the schema. In an experiment by Baggett participants were shown a series of simple line drawings telling a story. In a later test they also saw a picture showing the actual haircut, which had not been bueglski originally. People were bugelskj good at remembering that this picture had not been present buvelski the test followed immediately after the initial showing. However, if the test occurred a week after the initial presentation most people claimed that they had seen the haircutting picture in the original sequence.

This shows the way in which we incorporate in our memories inferences derived from our schemata. This experiment was concerned with memory rather than perception, but it is difficult to separate these processes if you take the stance that no perception is ‘immediate’. Searching for Patterns Visual Perception 2: The Third Dimension Visual Perception 3: Selectivity and Perceptual Constancy Visual Perception 4: Cultural and Environmental Factors Visual Perception 5: Context and Expectations Visual Perception 7: