Examining the Major Theories on Perception
When examining the concept of perception it is interesting to note that it is a “relative” concept in that it is inherently limited by the knowledge one has in being able to interpret external events through honed internal processes. For example, the study of Orlandi (2010) clearly shows a distinct difference in the way in which babies, adolescents, pre-adolescents, teenagers and adults perceive the world (Orlandi, 2010).
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The main difference, as explained by Orlandi (2010), is the internal processes and knowledge within that individual that enables a progressive and better understanding of external environments and situations (Orlandi, 2010). Changes in the way in which people perceive events, actions and behaviors is, and always will be, based on their internal changes (Overgaard, Rote, Mouridsen & Ramsøy, 2006).
The external environmental that is internalized by one’s perception of the world does not change since the world itself in an unchangeable environment (relatively speaking), rather, it is the way in which knowledge is internalized and adapted for use in examination that enables a broader understanding of the world around them that changes in perception occur (Overgaard, Rote, Mouridsen & Ramsøy, 2006).
On the other hand, it should be noted that perception is at times considered as being nothing more than a facet of the decision-action process which acts as a form of input (Knoblich & Flach, 2001).
As explained by Boxer, Schappell, Middlemass, & Mercado (2011), in this particular case perception is not accorded the status of a separate entity, rather, it is nothing more than the equivalent of a means of observation by which decisions are based upon.
In other words, it is an internal mechanism for the external examination of the environment that has no distinctive features aside from its ability to observe and correlate the necessary external information for the decision-action process to function (Boxer, Schappell, Middlemass, & Mercado, 2011).
One way of explaining such a concept is to consider an individual’s senses as the concept of perception while the brain and body are the rest of the components of the decision-action model (Boxer, Schappell, Middlemass, & Mercado, 2011).
From a certain perspective there is a distinct delineation between the senses and the body in that one is an internal mechanism while the other is a physical method of action, however, both are inextricably linked and necessary in order to perform the gamut of actions that a person is capable of doing (Knoblich & Flach, 2001).
It is based on these particular notions of perception that it can be stated that there is indeed a substantial difference between the two major theoretical views on perception.
When examining the case of qualia and its correlation to the two major theories of perception, this particular philosophical term is applicable more to the first theory rather than the second. The main reason behind this is due to the fact that the first theory utilizes internalized experiences and knowledge in order to develop a succinct understanding of the outside world.
This is distinctly different from the second theory which accords the concept of perception as being more inclined towards the status of a tool of observation in the repertoire of tools of the decision-action process. Since qualia is based on a subjective conscious experience, it can thus be stated that it is more applicable to the first theory rather than the second.
Boxer, P., Schappell, A., Middlemass, K., & Mercado, I. (2011). Cognitive and emotional covariates of violence exposure among former prisoners: links to antisocial behavior and emotional distress and implications for theory. Aggressive Behavior, 37(5), 465-475.
Knoblich, G., & Flach, R. (2001). Predicting the Effects of Actions: Interactions of Perception and Action. Psychological Science (Wiley-Blackwell), 12(6), 467.
Orlandi, N. (2010). Are sensory properties represented in perceptual experience?. Philosophical Psychology, 23(6), 721-740.
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Overgaard, M., Rote, J., Mouridsen, K., & Ramsøy, T. (2006). Is conscious perception gradual or dichotomous? A comparison of report methodologies during a visual task. Consciousness & Cognition, 15(4), 700-708.