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Sense Perception and the Problem of Illusion Research Paper

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Updated: Jan 30th, 2022

Introduction

The five human senses of sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing play a critical role in the way people perceive the world. At least once in lifetime, people’s brains may perceive to have seen something that never happened in the actual sense (Jacobs, 2001). However, people should always believe in the accuracy or inaccuracy of the sensory organs.

Reasons for believing on the sensory information

  1. The five human senses provide the only way for people to function in the world. If, for example, one touches something hot, the sense of feeling will relay information to the brain to instruct it to remove the hand from the burning surface. One cannot doubt the sensory organ of feeling because sensation does not lie.
  2. The five human senses work together to bring the sense of every happening. Although each sensory organ has a way to receive and respond to sensations, the five human senses must collaborate to relay the right information to the body, which responds by taking the right action. Every response by the body is because of the duly organized and interpreted information from the five human senses. A message relayed from five collaborative human senses is hard to disbelieve.
  3. There is no way that one can invalidate what the human senses construes. The five human senses have the role of relaying information to the body in order to take action. If, for example, the sense of smell depicts that there is smoke, the body becomes cautious of some danger ahead. A person will walk cautiously and try to see if the smoke or fire is actually there to verify the truth of the sense of smell. There is absolutely no reason to disbelieve the sensory organs as they relay first hand and accurate information.

Accuracy or inaccuracy of sensory data

Sensory data may be accurate or not, but this depends on various factors as explained below:

  1. Prior knowledge or experience of something may affect the way one perceives something (Jacobs, 2001). A doctor may receive symptoms of a particular common disease form a patient. The doctor’s senses will accurately depict that the patient suffers from a certain disease because of the symptoms. However, the patient could be suffering from a different disease only identifiable form a laboratory test. If the doctor gives the wrong prescriptions and the wrong treatment for the patient, this could lead to complications. This is a clear indication that prior knowledge or experience could lead to accurate or inaccurate data.
  2. The nervous system plays a critical role in bringing in sensation. The neuron’s information is accurate as long as one’s nervous system works correctly. In the case of one touching a burning surface, the first proof will be from the sense of feeling; seconded by the sense of sight. The sense of smell may follow thereafter if the human flesh burns. Therefore, the sensory data from a properly working nervous system is unquestionably accurate.
  3. Different interpretations of things affect the accuracy or inaccuracy of the sensory data. Medical conditions such as color blindness may cause people to doubt their sense of sight. At least 8% of men and 0.5% of women in the world have the color vision deficiency (Girodo, 2009). Such people will have difficulties distinguishing different colors like distinguishing blue from yellow, green from blue, or yellow from violet. The color-blinded people interpret colors differently, and they would hesitate to state the color they saw because of lack of certainty. The perception of colors depends on what people have in their sensation. Secondly, the interpretation ability is what organizes the human being. The different interpretations and perceptions of the human senses determine the human dwellings and human relationships, which may turn out to being accurate or inaccurate.

Nature and nurture

Nature and nurture are two aspects that play a critical role in the interpretation and evaluation of sensory data. Nature is concerned with the inborn characteristics. Throughout the growth of the child, the child grows and adapts to the innate organized sensory organs. Nothing is insignificant in the role of nature in the interpretation and evaluation of sensory data. In essence, nature influences the ability to gain knowledge and experience during infancy.

On the other hand, nurture is concerned with the upbringing of the child. A child learns and gains knowledge depending on the level of exposure to the world’s harsh or friendly conditions. This knowledge in turn influences the interpretation and evaluation of the sensory data (Kirby & Goodpaster, 1999). However, despite the contentious perceptions of knowledge acquisition through nature and nurture, the two aspects are crucial in the creation of the human sensations. This is evident from the fact that children naturally born with visual impairments will require a particular form of nurture to have the ability to adapt to the mechanisms of the formal human life.

Conclusion

It is evident that the five human senses play a critical role in the human way of living. However, this does not disregard those who have impairments because they also have human senses. People have to believe in their senses whether they are accurate or inaccurate.

References

Girodo, M., (2009). Psychology. Web.

Jacobs R.A. (2001). Nature, nurture, and the development of functional specializations: Computational approach. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 4 (3), 299-309.

Kirby, G.R., & Goodpaster, J.R. (1999). Thinking, (2nd Ed.) New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Sense Perception and the Problem of Illusion." January 30, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/sense-perception-and-the-problem-of-illusion/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Sense Perception and the Problem of Illusion'. 30 January.

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