Perception is one of the Ways of Knowing. 

We acquire sensory information via our 5 senses, however this is not perception, perception is the cognitive act of interpreting that information.

There are two problems with perception

1.  We do not perceive everything we sense. Some things are not perceived at all whereas others are only subliminally perceived (as in the amazing Derron Brown examples of the marketing campaign and toy giraffe!) 

2.  Our cognition, mindset, experience, emotional state and expectations can affect our perception as in the example below:


You probably read, “Paris in the spring.” however it does not say that. The images says, “Paris in the the spring.”  Why did you ignore the second “the” did you not sense it?  of course you did, you were looking right at it!  What then? You didn’t perceive it. This is an illustration of ways in which our perception can be erroneous. 

Consider the following phenomena and describe how it might be seen through the eyes of the following people (Lagemaat, 92).

  1. A child dying in poverty as seen by a doctor, an economist, a social worker, the child’s father.
  2. A sunset as seen by a religious figure, a physicist, a pointer, a farmer
  3. A tree as seen by a biologist, a logger, an environmentalist, a native american. 

Some Great Links we’ll be referencing!!

Top Ten Illusions in the art world from 2011:

How Lies Live in the Brain:

Cultural Affects on Perception

Zeitgeist Film Learning Helper:

Zeitgeist LH

Reality is a Shared Hallucination by Howard Bloom: Reailty is a Shared Hallucination-Bloom

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