Process of Perception – Under the process of perception a person chooses information from his surrounding environment, organises this information and then interprets it. As a result of it ideas, view point, values, feelings and behaviour are formed. The process of perception has been shown in the following: Input-throughput output model in the following diagram:
(A) Perceptual Inputs
Perception input means the stimuli available in the environment. These stimuli include objects, events and people. When a person comes in contact with the stimuli in the environment, the process of perception starts. Characteristics of stimuli, characteristics of the perceiver himself and the situation have a significant role to play in the choice of stimuli by an individual. In reality, perceptual inputs is not a part of the process of perception but it is needed to start the process of perception.
(B) Perceptual Throughputs
Perceptual throughputs is in reality the process of perception. Under it perceptual inputs are converted into perceptual outputs. In other words, under it during perceptual inputs the information received is processed to obtain outputs. The following three factors are included under the perceptual throughput:
- Selection of Stimuli: There are numerous stimuli in the environment. Our sensory organs are not capable enough to absorb all the stimuli. We get attracted to only those stimuli which are related to us. The remaining stimuli are simply ignored by us. In this way, at this stage some stimuli out of a large number are selected. (Note: The choice of stimuli is influenced by many factors which are detailed ahead in this chapter).
- Organisation of Stimuli: After selecting the stimuli, they are organised so that they can be made meaningful. For example, if we want to draw meanings of an incomplete picture, first of all we shall have to complete the picture itself. Making the incomplete picture complete is called organising. With the help of his cognitive power an individual visualises the complete picture with his perception. Here we have a diagram. Immediately, on seeing this diagram the image of a triangle emerges in our mind. Some other person can look at this diagram as only three lines instead of a triangle. With the help of his sensory system a man can the information received by doing some plus-minus exercise and makes the whole thing meaningful. This is what we call the organisation of stimuli. This is what we call the organisation of stimuli.Note: Various methods of organising the stimuli are given ahead in this chapter).
- Interpretation of Stimuli: After selecting and organising stimuli from the environment an individual interprets them. In the diagram given under point (ii) the moment an individuals looked at the three lines, he immediately organised it. After organising these lines, he immediately thought that it was a triangle. It should be kept in mind that every individual interprets in a particular manner. If the perceiver is not intelligent his interpretation can be wrong. If the wrong interpretation happens to be favourable to him, he will not shirk in doing a wrong interpretation. In the present example, let us say that the onlooker wants to present it as a triangle but if the perceiver’s interest lies in seeing them as three lines, then he will see only three lines and not a triangle. (Note: While interpreting this diagram he will say that there are three lines (while interpreting stimuli, a man can commit a mistake because of so many causes. The causes of committing a mistake while interpreting the stimuli find a place in this chapter.)
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(C) Perceptual Outputs
When the perceptual inputs go through the process of perceptual throughputs, perceptual outputs start appearing. In other words, at this stage the results of the perception process can be seen. These results are in tune with the individual’s opinions, attitudes, values, feelings, etc. The results of this perception process influences the behaviour of an individual along with some other factors.