In accordance with Joe Stratton’s book on critical thinking, she argued that perception entails a process of organized interpretation and selection of sensual data for mental representation. In turn, this data is used by the brain and the nervous system to establish thought content. Through perception, we are able to understand the processes of receiving and interpreting information from the environment. The five senses are the means of receiving this information: Hearing, sight, smell, touch, and taste (Dawley, 2008). Perception by these senses suffices in the identification of the outside world; the intervention of other processes including imagination, memory, and attention are also necessary.
Indeed, we can truly trust our senses, and the interpretation made from sensory data and believe that the view of the world is accurate. One reason is that we understand through perception is the only way we get have a world understanding. According to Dawley (2008), our perception of the world occurs in certain ways determined by our beliefs. This is like a filter between reality and us. Experiences and memories are the other reason why we should trust our senses. This is the information stored in our minds and acts as a capacity for imagination. Lastly, human brain is the driving force of our perception. How the brain determines how we view things is wholly dependent on the five senses. Hence, these senses are what the brain uses to interpret our environment.
Three factors that contribute to the accuracy of our sensory data include imagination, memory, and attention. In this regard, memory implies the process by which we encode, store, and retrieve information (Dawley, 2008). This allows us to keep records of events and the environment appearance. Memory assists our perception on matters that we recognize from the past. The factor of imagination comes from the mind. Imagination allows us to view the world in a setting of our own choosing (2008). However, this form of perception is inaccurate since it happens only in the mind. However, certain forms of imagination can be made accurate. An example is the imagination of art made realistic through drawing by paint and brush. Lastly, attention affects of perception of the world when we pay intricate detail to things happening around us. Hence, perception determined by the factor of attention is accurate.
Nature and nurture have played significant roles in how we interpret and evaluate sensory data. Scientists maintain that in nature, how we interpret perception comes from inborn or innate ways that organize sensory ways. This way, nature’s role in how we perceive interpretation is relevant since it is through this that we gain knowledge especially during infancy. Additionally, certain perceptions that people have are obtained from the experiences gone through while living in the world. Hence, nature plays a significant role in determining perception through inborn or innate ways and the experiences we go through while living.
In terms of nurturing, this factor affects of sensory perception depending on what we are exposed to (Stone & Sidel, 2004) Take for instance a student whose classmates label him a “slow learner”. Slowly but surely, this term will go on to sink in to the mentality of this student and will end up looking down upon himself and eventually demean his potential. This boy may have been born bright naturally, but his environment has nurtured him with a reason of believing that he has poor learning abilities.
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