Psych Essay

This essay has a total of 554 words and 5 pages.


What You See Is What You've Learned

Sensation and perception, two related fields of study in psychology. Sensation is the

power to receive information from your surroundings through your senses. Perceptual con-

stancies is the ability to filter and organize all the information taken in by our senses. Shape

constancy gives us the ability to realize the shape of an object does not change when the angle

of vision changes. Size constancy is the realization that an objects size does not change reg-

ardless of the distance from you. Another type organizational stategy is figure-ground. This is

the ability to distinguish the back-ground from the object of focus. With these organizational

stategies, questions arise pertaining to the extent and origin of these abilities. Is our ability to

perceive figure-ground relationships present from birth, or are they tought to us in our learn-

ing stages of early developement?

Mr Turnbull, an anthropologist, answered these questions in the late 1950s and early

1960s. While observing the BaMbuti Pygmies, in the Ituri Forest in the Congo, (their natural

setting), he came across a young man named Kenge. His entire life, Kenge had lived in the

thick jungle of the Congo. He had never had a chance to use figure-ground strategies, size

constancies, or to judge distances. Turnbull took Kenge to a clearing to see the Ruwenzori

Mountains. Having never seen a veiw from a great distance, Kenge was speechless. He

thought the mountains were rock formations. Turbbull proceded to take Kenge to the moun-

tains to get his reactions as to the size of them. While leaving the mountain Kenge saw a herd

of buffalo grazing in a feild a few miles away. He thought the buffalo were insects. The buf-
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